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The problems with forced arbitration

Employees at Google, the tech giant in California, have been challenging tech companies and urging them to change their policies with regards to workplace harassment. In particular, their main gripe pertains to forced arbitration, which requires employees of large tech companies to solve harassment issues at the company rather than taking their employers to court.

There are many problems with forced arbitration. For one thing, studies show that arbitration favors the employer over the employee more often than not whereas the courts tend to be fairer. Additionally, winning in arbitration can result in a smaller settlement than what would have been offered in court. This campaign to get rid of forced arbitration is part of a larger movement to tackle inequality in the workplace, especially in tech companies. These efforts are bolstered by the available diversity statistics, which demonstrate how underrepresented both females and minorities are at tech companies.

Google's employees are no strangers to fighting for workplace rights. In November, a large portion of them protested how their company was handling sexual harassment, and their main demand was to end forced arbitration. Soon after, Google listened to its employees and ended that stipulation, especially for sexual harassment and assault, which encouraged several tech companies to follow suit.

Google employees are now fighting for the rights of employees at other tech companies. They started by analyzing employment contracts of numerous large tech companies and found that none of them protected the employees' rights to go to court should an infraction take place. Therefore, Google's employees decided to go online and share facts, figures and true stories about the harms of forced arbitration. This campaign begun on Jan. 15. For more information about discrimination laws or the problems with forced arbitration, it may be a good idea to reach out to an experienced attorney. Legal professionals may help fill their clients in and let them know what their options are in the event of being subjected to workplace harassment.

Source: recode, " Google employees are launching a social media blitz to pressure tech giants on workplace harassment issues," Shirin Ghaffary, January 14, 2019

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