Up until recently, Google has used arbitration to handle internal company issues. This practice was required per employee contracts. Just recently, this practice was ended. When an employment dispute arises, Google employees in California and elsewhere now have the ability to turn to litigation for resolution.
The reason Google's arbitration practice was ended is that it was reported that certain male executives accused of sexual harassment were able to leave their jobs with massive exit packages. This revelation caused roughly 20,000 Google employees to walk out on their jobs in protest. Typically, employees are at a disadvantage in the arbitration process, which is held behind closed doors and subject to a ban on making any of the details public.
Google is not the only company that has required closed-door-negotiations to handle internal workplace disputes. It is actually a practice that is used pretty widely in the business world. Anyone who is asked to sign an employment contract should make sure to read the fine print to see if such a requirement is included. Arbitration can be an effective and less expensive way to resolve employment disputes, but sometimes the results may not really benefit or seem fair to the victim.
Business owners want to keep internal affairs out of the public view as it can make their companies look bad. However, there is something to be said about a company who refuses to allow its employees to go to court if they feel it necessary to resolve an employment dispute. It suggests that employee rights do not really matter. California residents who are in the midst of workplace disputes can turn to legal counsel for assistance achieving a fair resolution. This may be accomplished through litigation or, if required per an employee contract, arbitration.