eBay and Airbnb have both had a change in policy owing to the sexual harassment claims made. The commercial enterprises have decided to allow sexual harassment victims to take their appeals to the law governing bodies and sue offenders in court rather than to seek private arbitration- reported as per BuzzFeed. Both the industrial giants were the third and fourth in line to join Facebook and Google on the agenda dropping forced arbitration clauses on sexual misconduct giving in to massive employee protests. This was followed by a number of other companies promising reform in case they had such clauses contained in their governance practices except for Slack and Tesla, the two bodies who refused to indulge or comment on the scenario.
The Me Too Effect
Airbnb submitted a detailed statement claiming changes underway in their work ethic model regarding sexual harassment as well as discrimination. The statement contains the following strong claim made: “We are a company who believes that in the 21st Century it is important to continually consider and reconsider the best ways to support our employees and strengthen our workplace. From the beginning, we have sought to build a culture of integrity and respect, and today’s changes are just one more step to drive belonging and integrity in our workplace…”.
eBay on the other hand seems to take a lighter stand as it may seem based on their statement issued to BuzzFeed. The statement reads as follows: “We’ve adjusted our existing employee policy regarding sexual harassment claims to better reflect and encourage eBay’s values of being open, honest and direct.”
As we speak, there are numerous companies who resolve workplace sexual harassment issues through simplified and more basic procedures such as arbitration which actually serves as a major enabler to workplace sexual misconduct. The system leads to the stories going untold and forgotten while the perpetrators get the upper hand at everything. There has been a decades long movement countering forced arbitration inside state and federal law units which has been quite unsuccessful to date. Microsoft, Lyft, and Uber joined in on the movement owing to protests which had resulted in Microsoft supporting a federal bill that would ban arbitration to be the ultimate solution.