When outraged googlers walked off the job last year to protest the company's practice of secretly paying off serial sexual assaulters and harassers, while denying employees the right to sue over harassment through arbitration clauses in their contracts, Google CEO Sundar Pichai promised revise Google employment contracts to remove mandatory arbitration for individual sexual harassment claims.
Binding arbitration is parallel justice system run by and for big corporations, who use mandatory arbitration clauses to deny the right to sue to employees, contractors, partners and parts of their supply chain.
Tech workers have formed a kind of vanguard in labor struggles: even in a tightening labor market, techies are far and away the most in-demand, undersupplied workers, and that gives them power over their employers (no engineers, no Google).
Enter a new group called Googlers for Ending Forced Arbitration, who want to see all forced arbitration clauses removed, for all causes: they want workers to be able to sue individually or in class action for any wrongdoing, not just sexual harassment.
The group wants to eliminate forced arbitration in all companies and all sectors, and to require all employment contract arbitration clauses to be voluntary, to permit class actions, and to allow employees to speak freely about their grievances with their employers.
The group launches its campaign tomorrow; you can read about it here.
Tomorrow on Tuesday, January 15th, we will launch a social media campaign that shares our collective experiences and knowledge with the world. From 9am — 6pm EST, we will share facts about forced arbitration, particularly about its impact on tech workers, every hour on the hour via Twitter (@endforcedarb). We will share interviews of survivors & experts every hour on the half hour via Instagram (@endforcedarb).
We thank our allies at the American Association for Justice, American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Popular Democracy, Crime Victims Treatment Center, Fair Work Center, Pipeline Parity Project, Public Citizen and Time’s Up for their tenacity in this fight to restore employees’ civil rights and their access to justice.
Googlers for Ending Forced Arbitration launch public education campaign via social media [Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman/Medium]