- A former Googler said the company denied the harassment complaints because the incidents were at home.
- The incident highlights the difficulty in enforcing harassment policies since COVID-19 blurs home and work.
- A Google HR staffer wrote in the email: “the company is not in a position to enter into a crackdown on the personal activities of employees.”
- See more stories on the Insider activity page.
The COVID-19 pandemic announced a dramatic change in the way white workers work. According to Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom, about 42% of Americans they now work full time at a distance.
For many office workers, the “new normal” comes with benefits such as saying goodbye to travel and spending more time with family.
But house arrest orders have also “given sexual predators new tools with which to threaten, intimidate and abuse women,” she said. a September inquiry into the persecution by Open Democracy, who found increased cases of annoyance at work when there were fewer people around to see him.
“Bullying and harassment in the workplace did not stop during the lockdown, they are only posted online and all employers should be aware of this,” Danielle Parsons, a law enforcement officer, told Insider employment in Irwin Mitchell.
The hidden nature of this annoyance means that there is little scrutiny or widespread awareness – even if important incidents occur among workers. exposing himself o even masturbates on
calls for emphasis on the way in which some employees ignore professional boundaries while working from home.
“There is a danger with remote work that the boundaries between work and home become blurred,” Parsons added. “Many employees work full-time from their kitchen table and are without a designated workspace.”
Last week, Insider reported how Google seemed to struggle with enforcing these limits when it comes to complaints from a female employee of sexual harassment against a colleague.
The former Googler – who asked to be called here “Saki” to protect his identity and avoid potential retribution – she told Insider that she has repeatedly raised concerns about a male partner between March and September 2020, while working on the company’s Japanese advance in Tokyo.
In an appointment sent to Saki and seen by Insider, Google’s HR department cited the fact that the relationship, which she says was initially consensual, he had made it out of the office. She was therefore out of the department’s mandate – despite the fact that Saki had worked remotely on the company’s instructions.
When approached by Insider, Google declined to comment on Saki’s allegations, but said his local labor policies and rules “clearly prohibit harassment in the workplace.”
A spokesman added: “We are investigating all allegations and taking firm action against employees who violate our policy.”
The company declined to comment when asked if the company had revised its sexual harassment policy in light of COVID-19.
In the memorandum, sent to Saki on September 30, 2020, a member of Google’s HR team told him that the company was “not in a position to enter into a crackdown on the personal activities of employees.”
Insider translated from the original Japanese text of the email in the transcript below. Its contents have been edited to protect Saki’s identity:
Read the full email below:
We were informed for the first time of this matter in March 2020. At the time, we understood that you were engaged in a consensual relationship, that it had no impact on your work, and that neither you nor your colleague did. they were in a position of authority over each other.
You said there was no crossover between your work and your private life. You told me the relationship was a private matter, and you agreed to close the complaint.
This month (September), we discussed the issue again … In this discussion, I heard that relevant events happen outside of the workplace, do not refer to work-related events or posts, and are stayed at Saki’s house. Also, at the time, it was consensual, and it started going around time of fire COVID.
None of you is in a position to exercise authority over one another in the company. Therefore, there is no change in our view that these are personal issues.
I understand very well that this is a difficult situation, but I would like you to understand that society is not in a position to enter into a repression of the personal activities of employees.