#MeToo: Google reforms sexual misconduct rules

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A week after 20,000 employees walked out in protest over sexual misconduct and inequality at Google, the company said Thursday that it will commit to building a safer workplace, which includes ending forced arbitration and increasing its transparency on reported incidents of sexual misconduct. The company then asked for his resignation, gave him an exit package of $90 million, and didn't mention the misconduct in his departure announcement, according to the Times. That will now be optional, so workers can choose to sue in court and present their case in front of a jury.

The company's reporting channels will reevaluated, starting next year, and the biz intends to take a more active role in overseeing complaints against or by temps, contractors, and vendors. The probe concluded that its rank had been poisoned by rampant sexual harassment.

Pichai's note - the announcement was circulated in a company-wide email - does not directly address those demands, but instead says the changes were inspired by "feedback" and "stories" Google received from its employees in recent weeks.

"We recognize that we have not always gotten everything right in the past and we are sincerely sorry for that", said Pichai in an email send to employees that the company made public. "It's clear we need to make some changes", Pichai stated in his emailed memo. Thursday's email was obtained by The Associated Press.

Google workers left their offices in Tokyo, Singapore, Zurich, London, Berlin and Dublin during the walkouts last week.

The protest's organizers estimated about 17,000 workers participated in the walkout.

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The reforms are the latest fallout from a broader backlash against men's exploitation of their female subordinates.

The company is also stepping up its training aimed at preventing misconduct.

Updates and expansion of Google's mandatory sexual harassment training. Those who fall behind in their training, including top executives, will be dinged in annual performance reviews, leaving a blemish that could lower their pay and make it more hard to get promoted. The protesters demanded that women be paid the same as men for doing similar work, something that Google has steadfastly maintained that it has been doing for years. Another request is to have an employee representative on Google's board. Now, Google, one of the world's most powerful and visible companies, could become a model for how to fix what's broken in tech culture - if it delivers on its promises.

Nevertheless, employment experts predicted the generally positive outcome of Google's mass uprising is bound to have ripple effects across Silicon Valley and perhaps the rest of corporate America.

As part of this effort, Google's implementing a new action plan to handle future assault/harassment issues.

Google said its chief diversity officer would continue to lead monthly discussions with Mr. Pichai on topics of diversity and equity. Google reportedly found the allegation to be credible.

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