Over the past few weeks, Google has been another round of drama workshops. After the New York Times released an explosive story of how the company previously protected one of his star engineers Andy Rubin from investigating sexual negligence, director of Google Sundar Pichai found that the company had canceled 48 employees for sexual harassment in the past two years,
On Thursday, Google released new rules on how the company would harbor sexual harassment after employees arranged outbound and sent a pet list of pet requests to the company.
Employees did not get everything they wanted, but they got their top demand: the end of forced arbitration for cases of sexual harassment.
In the letter, Pichai announced a new policy while also defending Google's general policy of forced arbitration, claiming he never demanded confidentiality.
Read more: Here's the remarks of Google's executive director Sundar Pichai sent employees changes in sexual harassment policy after leaving
"We will do arbitrary arbitration for individual sexual abuse and allegations of sexual abuse. Google has never required confidentiality in the arbitration process, and arbitration may still be the best path for several reasons (eg, Personal privacy), but we recognize that the election should be up to you, "he wrote.
Imposing employees to sign agreements forbidding to sue a business and instead opting for arbitration is one of the key ways that a company keeps rubbish.
Arbitration is a private process that does not produce public court documents or decisions of a public court. This can also make it difficult for employees to fight together to file lawsuits for the class.
Settlement agreements may also include a command, which prohibits employees from speaking about their experience, even if they win the case.
Mix it all together and get the perfect combination in which the company's incentives to cover things can be more attractive than expelling illegal behavior or bad behavior and seeing it no longer happening.
With private arbitrage, even if the company activates an employee (and this is not always the case), a new employer has no easy way of knowing a fundamental incident, freeing employees from continuing to engage in the same behavior in the new company.
Imposing employees to consent to arbitration as a condition for employment has become a common practice in corporate America today. And that's standard practice in the Silicon Valley. So commonly, Susan Fowler, a famous engineer who wrote about his experience of sexual harassment in Uber, claimed that practice should be banned in a petition to the Supreme Court a year ago.
Although Google apparently has not abandoned forced arbitration in general, which is optional for cases of sexual harassment a major step for the Silicon Valley.
This choice of one company alone will not end the well documented problems of brokering in Silicon Valley.
But the thing is, Google is not alone. About a year ago, Microsoft also removed its enforced arbitration clause for allegations of sexual harassment and confirmed the motion of the Senate attempting to make such a change in the country's law.
Uber followed suit in May.
Ideally, companies would simply stop working their employees to renounce the right to a lawsuit in regular courts for each issue, not just sexual harassment.
But for now there is a slow and stable wave of change in this field. Perhaps the Silicon Valley could even become a lighthouse for other industries with well-publicized issues of sexual harassment, such as media and finance, to do the same.
Ultimately, the freedom of employees to publicly announce allegations of sexual harassment will purify the necessary light for a situation that has been smoking for too long in the dark.