USA: Tech companies fail to end forced arbitration for discrimination claims

Author: Melanie Ehrenkranz, Gizmodo, Published on: 28 November 2018

After Google's Historic Walkout, One of Tech's Big Problems Is Still Being Ignored, 21 November, 2018

Last month, thousands of staffers walked out of Google offices around the world calling for a more inclusive company culture built around “equity, dignity, and respect.” Among the walkout organizers’ five demands was for the company to end forced arbitration for both harassment and discrimination claims. The company only eliminated the former...

By only eliminating arbitration for sexual harassment claims—particularly when they do so after a PR crisis—companies are signaling that other forms of unjust treatment aren’t as important as others to improve policies around, say employee rights experts. It also creates a more complicated litigation system for those with multiple claims—which, oftentimes, include the most marginalized groups in a workforce.

...getting rid of mandatory arbitration for discrimination claims is not only necessary, it’s a “small second step.”

...We asked 15 leading tech companies whether they required their workers to agree to forced arbitration for discrimination claims and, if so, if they planned to eliminate them. Those companies were Apple, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Tesla, SpaceX, Verizon, Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, eBay, Reddit, Microsoft, and Slack.

...Only five companies confirmed to Gizmodo that they have either recently eliminated forced arbitration for both harassment and discrimination claims or that they have never had these types of agreements. Several didn’t respond, and a few responded that they only eliminated claims of sexual harassment, but not discrimination.

[Article includes comments from companies]

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