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What can we learn from Google employees' recent actions?

We’ve all come to know Google, the ubiquitous search engine and tech giant that came to the forefront in the late 1990s. Google profiles many stores[SS1]  across the globe, attracting users to stories affecting individuals in all walks of life. However, the tech giant has been at the forefront of its own internal news buzz in recent days.

Google executives face sexual harassment allegations

Last November, reports surfaced that multiple executive with the company were allegedly engaging in workplace sexual harassment. The company announced plans to “overhaul is sexual misconduct policies” and promised to truly support workers who raise such concerns in the future.

Fast forward almost one year later and many employees say that today they are still afraid to speak up about their experiences with workplace harassment out of fear of retaliation.

Many cite to an internal company document that surfaced in April of this year. The document outlines complaints Google employees filed with the company’s human resources department. It also outlines the retaliation these employees faced—demotions, negative performance reviews—thereafter.

Google employees: We are not giving up

As such, employees have turned to discussing these issues with fellow colleagues on safe, anonymous platforms.

However, this past summer, Google released a new set of community guidelines stipulating to workers that they need to avoid spending time debating about “non-work topics.”

Despite Google’s alleged threat, employees are still unifying together. A continued outpouring of stories—even if they are documented on informal platforms—provides workers a voice and a reason to keep the issue at the forefront until the company takes real action to stop unlawful workplace practices.

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