Sun, Nov 11, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Facebook mirrors Google harassment move

SERIOUS CHANGE:The firm made adjustments to its dating policy and amended its arbitration agreement so that sexual harassment complaints could be aired in court

AFP, SAN FRANCISCO

Facebook Inc on Friday said that it would no longer require employees to resolve sexual harassment claims via arbitration, mirroring a move by Google.

The change of workplace rules at the world’s leading social network allows complaints of such improprieties to be aired openly in court.

“Today, we are publishing our updated Workplace Relationships policy and amending our arbitration agreements to make arbitration a choice rather than a requirement in sexual harassment claims,” Facebook corporate media relations director Anthony Harrison said. “Sexual harassment is something that we take very seriously and there is no place for it at Facebook.”

The Silicon Valley-based Internet firm’s policy about workers dating one another was also modified to require executives of director level or higher to tell the human resources department when they are dating another employee at the company.

Google on Thursday outlined changes to its handling of sexual misconduct complaints, hoping to calm outrage that triggered a worldwide walkout of workers last week.

Arbitration of harassment claims at Google would be optional instead of obligatory, according to chief executive officer Sundar Pichai, a move that could end anonymous settlements that fail to identify those accused of harassment.

Pichai said in a memo shared with AFP that Google would be more transparent with how concerns are handled, and provide better support and care to those who raise such issues with the company.

Google would also update its mandatory sexual harassment training and require it annually instead of every two years, as had been the case.

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