FILE PHOTO: A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, November 1, 2018. REUTERS/ Stephen Lam/File Photo
(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google said on Thursday it would make changes to how it handles sexual harassment claims, a week after thousands of its employees around the world walked off their jobs to protest its response to such issues.
Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai announced a detailed “action plan”, which included making arbitration optional for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims.
“Going forward, we will provide more transparency on how we handle concerns,” Pichai said in a note here addressed to employees.
Pichai also said Google will provide more details around sexual harassment investigations and outcomes, as well as improving processes used to handle such concerns, including the ability for its employees to be accompanied by a support person.
Google said employees will now be required to undergo sexual harassment training annually, instead of every two years currently.
“We will update and expand our mandatory sexual harassment training,” Pichai said.
The company also said it would publicly release its harassment, discrimination and retaliation policies.
The protests at Google earlier this month followed a New York Times report that the company in 2014 gave a $90 million exit package to a senior vice president, Andy Rubin, after he was accused of sexual harassment.
Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru and Paresh Dave in San Francisco; Editing by Anil D’Silva