It's not uncommon for workers in Florida to be subject to forced arbitration when making claims against their employers. However, those who work for Google will no longer have to enter into arbitration to resolve claims related to discrimination and wrongful termination. This is according to an announcement that the company made on Feb. 21. Arbitration can be harmful for employees as the cases are resolved in secret.
They can also be difficult in front of arbiters who are paid by the company itself. In fact, this could result in a conflict of interest. Because the cases are heard in secret, harassers could target multiple victims without significant repercussions. The announcement was an expansion of current company policy. In November, Google ended forced arbitration in regard to sexual harassment and sexual assault claims.
It is worth noting that the change will only apply to employees. Those who are with a company in a temporary capacity or classified as independent contractors will not be covered by the change. According to a recent report, temporary and contract workers along with vendors make up over half of the company's workforce. However, there are bills proposed in the House and Senate that would end forced arbitration for all categories of workers.
A worker who needs assistance with a sexual harassment case may be able to find legal representation. A lawyer could help a victim gather evidence and develop a legal strategy. Evidence of harassment may include suspiciously timed negative performance reviews or direct quotes from a manager, employee or other company representative.