Steps out to tackle workplace harassment

Google has outlined changes to its handling of sexual misconduct complaints, hoping to calm out.

"Sarkerely sorry for that," chief executive Sundar Pichai said in a message to employees, "a copy of which was shared with AFP.

"It's clear we need to make some changes."

Arbitration of harassment claims wants to be optional instead of obligatory, according to Mr Pichai, a move that could end up being anonymous settlements that fail to identify those accused of harassment.

"Google has never felt confidentiality in the arbitration process and it still may be the best path for a number of reasons (eg, personal privacy, predictability of process), but we recognize that the choice should be up to you," he said the memo.

Mr Pichai said that Google wants to be more transparent with what concerns are handled, and provide better support and care to those who raise issues with the company.

Google wants to provide "more granularity" regarding sexual harassment investigations and their outcomes, according to Mr Pichai.

A section of an internal "Investigations Report" seeks focus on sexual harassment to show numbers of substantiated concerns, as well as trends and disciplinary actions, according to the California-based company.

He also said Google is consolidating the complaint system and that the process for handling concerns wants to provide support people and counsellors.

Google wants update its mandatory sexual harassment training and requires it every two years.

Google announced changes to its policy after a walkout by "Googlers" in offices around the world, including this group in New York

Google is also putting the onus on team leaders to tighten the tap on alcohol at company events, on or off campus, to curtail the potential for drunken misbehaviour.

"Harassment is never acceptable and alcohol is never excuse," Google said in a statement.

"But, one of the most common factors among the harassment complaints made today at Google is that the perpetrator had been drinking."

Google policy already bans excessive consumption of alcohol on the job, while on business, or at work-related events.

Some teams at the company have already instituted two-drink limits at events or use ticket systems, Google said.

Google executives overseeing events intends to be discouraged, according to the company, which vowed "onerous actions".

Hiring, retention, and career advancement.

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Thousands of Google employees joined the US tech giant's handling of sexual harassment.

A massive turnout at the "Googleplex" in Silicon Valley was the final stage of a global walk-out that began in Asia and spread to Google offices in Europe.

Some 20,000 Google employees and contractors protest in 50 cities around the world. including Ireland, according to organizers.

Demma Rodriguez, head of equity engineering and a seven-year Google employee, said during the walkout that it was an important part of bringing fairness to the technology colossus.

"We have an aspiration to be the best company in the world," Mr Rodriguez said.

"But we also have goals as a company and we can not decide we are going to miss those."

The protest took shape after it had fired 48 employees in the past two years, including 13 senior executives, as a result of allegations of sexual misconduct.

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