Microsoft just ended employee agreements that force women to settle sexual harassment cases out of court.
Call on Google to follow suit and lift the veil of secrecy silencing women employees’ stories.
In September, Kelly Ellis, Holly Pease, and Kelli Wisuri -- three former Google employees -- took their former employer to court over systemic gender discrimination in the company’s pay and promotion practices.
But their lawyer says that had the three been bound by Google’s current employment agreements -- which force employees to settle issues out of court -- the case may have never seen the light of day.
These “mandatory arbitration” agreements help perpetuate sexism and sexual abuse in the workplace by keeping disputes secret and out of court. That’s why Microsoft just made a bold move to end employee agreements that silence victims of sexual harassment in the office. But it’s up to use this opportunity to set a new industry standard, and demand Google follow Microsoft’s lead.
Tell Google to stop making employees sign arbitration agreements that silence victims and protect abusers.
The #MeToo movement is shining a necessary spotlight on pervasive issues of sexual abuse and harassment. But in addition to holding individual abusers accountable, we need to change policies to build systems of transparency and accountability.
That’s exactly why former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson wrote in the New York Times that “reforming arbitration laws is key to stopping sexual harassment.” It's employee agreements like the one she signed to work at Fox News that nearly kept her from bringing her lawsuit against Roger Ailes to court.
The lawyer representing the former Google employees says that many other women with “very compelling stories” were unable to join the class action because of clauses in their employee contracts. It’s time the world know that Google is protecting a status quo of workplace discrimination and harassment by silencing employees with forced arbitration clauses.
Call on Google to end arbitration agreements that protect workplace abusers.