Many major tech companies have long preferred to force employees to settle sexual harassment claims in private arbitration — a policy that will shields firms through the embarrassing prospect of workers airing their grievances in open court, along with also tends to result in lower-cost settlements for a firm. Such clauses effectively silenced women speaking out about their experiences of sexual harassment. although amid a rising tide of employee activism, some tech companies are publicly reconsidering their practices.
For Google, an impetus for the policy change was when thousands of its employees around the globe walked out of their offices to protest the company’s handling of sexual harassment claims against senior executives. On Friday, Facebook followed Google’s move, mirroring two different tech giants, Microsoft along with Uber, which had already committed to scrapping mandated arbitration.
BuzzFeed News reached out to a bevy of technology companies, asking if they would certainly consider following Facebook along with Google’s decisions to end forced arbitration. The question was simple: “Will your company, in all cases, end your policy of requiring employee sexual-harassment claims to be settled in private arbitration?”
Responses were mixed, though firms generally leaned towards ending forced arbitration or asserting that will their policies had never required arbitration inside first place. After BuzzFeed News got in touch, only two companies, Airbnb along with eBay, said they would certainly end mandated arbitration. although Tesla along with Slack told BuzzFeed News they would certainly not comment on the issue. The rest told BuzzFeed News that will forced arbitration had never been a company policy.
Here will be a statement through Airbnb, issued exclusively to BuzzFeed News. Today, the company committed to not requiring its employees to use arbitration involving both sexual harassment along with discrimination claims.
Today, we are announcing adjustments that will reflect conversations we have had with employees along with outside experts. We are a company who believes that will inside 21st Century that will will be important to continually consider along with reconsider the best ways to support our employees along with strengthen our workplace. through the beginning, we have sought to build a culture of integrity along with respect, along with today’s adjustments are just one more step to drive belonging along with integrity in our workplace.
We will not require our employees to use arbitration in cases involving discrimination inside workplace. Additionally, we will not require employees to use arbitration in cases involving sexual harassment. We’re proud that will these adjustments will allow employees to choose how to resolve their concerns along with believe This kind of will be the right thing to do for our employee community.
After BuzzFeed News reached out, eBay confirmed that will that will would certainly end its policy of settling employee sexual harassment claims in private arbitration.
“eBay takes great pride in fostering an inclusive culture that will allows employees to feel comfortable along with encouraged to report any workplace issues,” an eBay spokesperson said. “We’ve adjusted our existing employee policy regarding sexual harassment claims to better reflect along with encourage eBay’s values of being open, honest along with direct.”
An Apple spokesperson also issued a statement to BuzzFeed News. The company said that will ended its arbitration requirement earlier This kind of year — although did not specify exactly when that will did so.
We have never arbitrated a harassment or discrimination case. We reviewed our policies earlier This kind of year along with removed the arbitration requirement by offering brand new employees the choice of opting out.
The vast majority of our employees have never been asked to sign such an agreement — only those who joined Apple during a short period when This kind of policy was in effect — along with employees who did are no longer required to arbitrate This kind of kind of claim.
We’re proud of the work we’re doing to ensure that will everyone at Apple, wherever they work around the globe, will be treated with the dignity along with respect they deserve. Our team will be always evaluating Apple’s internal policies, procedures along with support systems to make sure all employees are empowered to do their life’s best work.
Lyft said that will has already changed its policy to reflect that will the company would certainly not require arbitration for claims of sexual assault or sexual harassment.
A company spokesperson pointed BuzzFeed News to its policy, which states, “Survivors can choose to resolve their claims through arbitration, through mediation, or in court.” The policy also says that will Lyft made This kind of change on May 15, 2018.
Pinterest said the company has never required arbitration for harassment claims.
“We have long been committed to building an inclusive company where employees are treated fairly. Our employment agreements have never included an arbitration provision for harassment claims,” said a Pinterest spokesperson.
Similarly, Reddit said that will never had the policy of forced arbitration for employees.
“We don’t have arbitration so your question doesn’t apply to us,” said company spokesperson Anna Soellner.
Oath — the parent company of Yahoo, Tumblr, AOL, along with HuffPost — said the same.
“Oath’s employment agreements have never required mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment claims,” a company spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.
As did Twitter.
“We do not have forced arbitration at Twitter along with never have,” said a company spokesperson.
Amazon, Intel along with IBM said they also do not use mandatory arbitration. Meanwhile, Snap, Spotify, along with Salesforce, did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ question.
Three companies, Netflix, Tesla along with Slack, declined to answer.
“Slack will be not commenting on the issue at This kind of time,” said a Slack spokesperson. After being contacted, Netflix along with Tesla declined to comment.