Google workers take a stand against employment discrimination

Every Arizona employer should have the same interest in maintaining a workplace that's free of bias, prejudice, harassment and any other employment-related improprieties. However, achieving that goal while conducting business has been difficult for some companies. To help mitigate losses from lawsuits, pre-dispute arbitrations have become the norm in the vast majority of employment contracts. These require an aggrieved worker to seek some form of alternative dispute resolution prior to filing a lawsuit against the employer. That, however, may be changing.

Mandatory arbitration favors the employer for several reasons. The results are confidential, which allows the company to escape public scrutiny of the findings. Since the objecting employee's lawyer is also bound by confidentiality, no other similarly situated plaintiffs can be contacted. Ultimately, each case must be pursued individually with no option for a class-action lawsuit. This was among the many reasons that Google employees conducted a technology-based campaign to put pressure on tech companies to alter their practices concerning workplace harassment.

Roughly 20,000 Google employees staged a walkout in November 2018, focusing primarily on the issue of sexual harassment. These employees are also using Twitter and Instagram to spread their message. The bottom line for these complaints is that only through the court system can individual allegations of employment discrimination receive a fair forum and level playing field.

Equality in the workplace means preventing discrimination and hostile environments. Unfortunately, discrimination still occurs even by some relatively well-meaning employers. An employment law attorney can assess a situation to determine if an employee's rights have been violated and make recommendations for potential remedies.

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Elizabeth D. Tate, Attorney at Law
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