The Demands of the Google Walkout Explained

by Evil HR Lady on November 3, 2018

On Thursday, thousands of Google employees walked out on their jobs to protest how the tech giant handles sexual harassment complaints. The organizers, Claire Stapleton, Tanuja Gupta, Meredith Whittaker, Celie O’Neil-Hart, Stephanie Parker, Erica Anderson, and Amr Gaber, made their demands known at The Cut.

Unlike the coal miners in the 1800s, every Google employee could find a new job and walk away. And there are literally millions of people who apply to work there every yearand would happily take these jobs without Google conceding a single point. This puts Google in a much stronger position than these employees think. But, let’s go through the demands and talk about what would really happen in this situation.

1. An end to Forced Arbitration. 

Forced arbitration is unpopular–and for good reason. Arbitration is decidedly pro-employer. Employees who do recover in arbitration receive substantially less money than those who win in court, at least according to one study. However, going to court is risky and can be terribly expensive for both sides. While you might win the jackpot if you win a court case, you also may face a company who is far more willing to fight in order to prevent that jackpot and to prevent others from deciding to sue as well.

To keep reading, click here: The Demands of the Google Walkout Explained

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric November 3, 2018 at 2:46 pm

Demands aside, I’m a bit shocked that these Google employees think that they can get away with embarrassing their employer at work in the middle of the work day televised intentionally on CNN without any consequences. Seems pretty unreasonable. I would NEVER dare to do/say something in a public forum that embarrassed my employer. I’m further surprised that they may be right.

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Nacho November 3, 2018 at 5:54 pm

Walk outs and strikes are pretty normal bargaining tactics, and have been for the past century or so. I know we’re not quite as pro-union as we used to be, but being shocked at the very idea of a walkout is a bit much

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MariaRose November 3, 2018 at 5:02 pm

When dealing with a company like Google Who is one of the top present day employers and who’s pattern of employment is copied ( work or don’t work to get paid philosophy). If history can give us a reference, then look back to how the railroad barons and the coal miner owners treated their employees whenever they requested benefits. Same idea different time period. When an employer starts to forget that their employees are people rather than the means to profit, sometimes that employer needs a wake up. Admittedly these employees do have great on job benefits, but they are extremely limited in what happens when leaving the job in the arbitration process. You would like a progressive company like Google would have better options.

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Mr Ma-google November 4, 2018 at 9:00 pm

Arbitration is evil. Hardly squares with the Google mantra, eh?

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Google November 5, 2018 at 7:26 am

I note that Google formally dropped “Don’t be evil” from their code of conduct in 2015, and again earlier this year.

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Jenny Boxer November 3, 2018 at 5:10 pm

These employees have a good deal.
They need to remember that they are, in fact, employees and do not run the company. Should sexual harassment complaints be investigated? Absolutely. But the rest of it is hogwash. Mandating females or people of color at higher levels requires people who are actually equally qualified at those levels. The fact is that women do sacrifice their upward mobility to raise kids.

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Nacho November 3, 2018 at 10:09 pm

Yeah, damn those entitled whiners, asking for equal pay and opportunities and publicly disclosed sexual harassment reports and to not handle harassment claims with arbitration that’s inherently biased towards Google and often requires confidentially from those involved as part of the process.

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Mr Ma-google November 4, 2018 at 9:07 pm

If it was such a good deal, the Silicon Valley anti-poaching pact wouldn’t have existed. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-Tech_Employee_Antitrust_Litigation

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jdgalt November 4, 2018 at 6:59 pm

Google management is complicit in letting Social Justice Warriors run their company. Once you start that, Social Justice replaces making money as the mission of the company, and their demands are never going to stop until they put you out of business.

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grannybunny November 5, 2018 at 3:08 pm

Google has a wildly diverse workforce, and is not being run by Social Justice Warriors. As has been widely reported, their employees run the gamut from radical leftists to 4Chan neo-Nazis.

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MRS_HELM November 5, 2018 at 7:33 pm

The article concludes: “Even if Google concedes to all these demands (which they won’t) the changes will be superficial. ”

It sounds like there’s nothing a big company CAN do once it reaches this point, then? Anything they do is regarded as too little too late, or just meeting demands. No way they can signal “hey, we actually DO mean it”.

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