Following 2018’s decision to end forced arbitration for sexual harassment claims, Google (aka Alphabet) announced Thursday that it would end forced arbitration for discrimination as well on March 21.
The change applies to all Google employees as well as temps and contract workers, though the company says it cannot force staffing agencies to make the same change in their employment agreements.
The sexual harassment change came after a demonstration worldwide by some 20,000 Google employees. Since then, a group called Googlers for Ending Forced Arbitration has kept up the pressure to extend the arbitration exclusion.
Forced arbitration generally favors the parent company since that is the entity paying for the process and also because it precludes court cases and class action lawsuits.
“We commend the company in taking this step so that all its workers can access their civil rights through public court,” Googles for Ending Forced Arbitration said in a Medium posts on Thursday. “We will officially celebrate when we see these changes reflected in our policy websites and/or employment agreements.”
Employers who have already concluded the arbitration process will not be allowed to sue, but those currently in arbitration can file legal action beginning March 21, according to a Google announcement.