As one of the most prolific and important companies in the technology industry, Google’s actions are watched closely. Up until recently, Google (like many companies) was forcing arbitration agreements upon employees; the company recently decided to end this practice, giving rights back to its employees.
Arbitration agreements are a common occurrence in employment contracts. These force employees to resolve any lawsuits against the company in arbitration rather than in a public court. The main problem with arbitration? Since it is not a public process, the details of the lawsuit are kept secret. This secrecy helps protect companies from additional scrutiny, but can be extremely harmful to employees.
The practice of forced arbitration is facing a lot of criticism in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Because arbitration keeps matters of a lawsuit secret, companies can much better protect executives and both the individual’s reputation as well as the company’s image from criticism of the public at large. This in turn enables individuals who sexually harass other employees to continue their behavior without fear of repercussions. Last year, employees at Google were so fed up with the forced arbitration agreements they staged a walk out. The walk out gained national attention and put significant pressure on the tech giant. In response to growing pressure, Google announced its plans to get rid of arbitration agreements for all current and future employees. This will allow employees to settle any type of work dispute in a court if necessary.
Understanding Workers’ Rights
No one should be subject to discrimination or harassment in the workplace. Companies that use arbitration agreements are empowered to hide their wrongdoings in private arbitration proceedings, which take away workers’ voices. While Google has returned this power to employees, many companies still utilize arbitration agreements. Regardless of whether or not companies have arbitration agreements in place, workers still have rights and can seek compensation when these rights are violated.
Houston Employment Lawyers
At Feldman & Feldman, our attorneys have represented scores of victims who were subjected to discrimination and harassment in the workplace. If you are experiencing discrimination or harassment, don’t wait to contact us. We can help you understand your rights and legal options. Call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our Houston employment lawyers.
Running a business is no small feat. Whether you own a small mom and pop company or employ thousands of employees, you are going to face legal issues that can jeopardize your business. In addition to a wide variety of business litigation issues, companies can also face employment litigation. Employment litigation can be damaging in many ways. Not only can it be expensive, but it can also tarnish a company’s reputation and take a serious blow at the morale of current employees. However, there are many steps companies can take to prevent employment litigation.
Prevent Employment Litigation With These Five Strategies
Many businesses might be reluctant to spend time implementing employment litigation prevention strategies, but the reality is that without these strategies, they are opening themselves up to serious risk. These five tips can go a long way in preventing employment issues.
- Have written procedures for conduct. In light of the #MeToo movement, more victims of sexual harassment are empowered to share their experiences. Sexual harassment and discrimination of any kind have no place in the workplace. Companies should have written rules for conduct that not only forbids discriminatory behavior, but also provides consequences for employees that do discriminate against others. Companies should also have written procedures for clock-in and clock-out requirements and overtime regulations.
- Provide adequate training. There are numerous types of training that can help maintain a safe workplace. Things like safety training, sexual harassment and discrimination training, and wage and hour regulation training will go a long way toward preventing future litigation. While most companies only offer training to managers, a company can greatly benefit from offering this to every employee.
- Provide a method for employees to submit complaints. Employees should have an avenue to submit information about complaints, harassment, or violations so they can be resolved as quickly as possible. Some employees like to submit complaints anonymously, so employers should create a system that allows for anonymity.
- Establish dispute resolution procedures. Preparation is key to handling employment disputes. By defining processes before they are needed, companies can clear a pathway to resolution.
- Don’t wait to contact an attorney. No matter is too small for an attorney. If an employee submits a complaint, an attorney can help resolve the issue efficiently.
Employment Litigation Help
The employment litigation lawyers of Feldman & Feldman are experienced in working with businesses of all sizes. We can institute preventative measures or represent you if an issue has already occurred. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your situation.