Google changes sexual harassment policy after staff protests

A week after workers staged walkouts in protest against Google’s big pay-outs to male executives accused of sexual misconduct, the tech giant is changing its rules including drinking limits for staff.

In an email memo to employees, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, above, said the company will be open about its handling of sexual harassment cases.

Google will no longer require mandatory arbitration of sexual misconduct allegations. Instead, it will provide more details about sexual misconduct cases in internal reports.

Harassment of women staff is not acceptable and drinking can never be an excuse for the perpetrators, the memo said.

Staff will face performance review penalties if they fail to complete sexual harassment training.

The employees protested on Nov 1 in Tokyo, Singapore, Zurich, London, Berlin and Dublin over The New York Times report that Google had given $90m severance package to an executive Andy Rubin ignoring allegations of sexual misconduct against him. Rubin has denied the allegations.

The protesters sought a commitment from Google to end pay and opportunity inequity. They also wanted an employee as representative on Google’s board.