Facebook also updated its office dating policy, requiring executives from director level and above to disclose a romantic relationship with another colleague to HR.

After Google Facebook plans to make arbitration for harassment claims optional
Atom Tech Shorts Saturday, November 10, 2018 - 15:27

Following Google's footsteps, Facebook is also planning to do away with its policy of requiring employees to settle sexual harassment claims made against colleagues in private arbitration alone, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Facebook announced the new policy in an internal post to staff, the report on Friday said. 

The rule change will allow Facebook employees to pursue sexual harassment claims in court if they so wish. 

Earlier, Google on Thursday announced that it was making arbitration optional for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims.

Google outlined the new sexual harassment policy after over 20,000 employees staged a global walkout last week in protest against sexual harassment at the company and its improper handling of sexual misbehaviour allegations against top executives.

Facebook following the same policy now marks a significant departure from its earlier stance in which it defended the compulsory arbitration policy as "appropriate".

The social networking giant has also updated its inter-office dating policy to require any executive at a director level or above to disclose any romantic relationship with another colleague, even if they are not overseeing that employee's work.

It has outlined a few rules stating that if a Facebook employee asks a co-worker out, which does not result in a date, they should not ask again. They are also not allowed to ask out colleagues they have never met, or even message them letting them know they think that person is attractive.

“There are situations where you might not have a direct reporting relationship, but if you have influence over your significant other’s projects, performance feedback or rating, it may be a conflict of interest and you should report it to HR,” the rules state.

In a statement, corporate media relations director Anthony Harrison confirmed that Facebook was making arbitration optional. “Sexual harassment is something that we take very seriously, and there is no place for it at Facebook,” he told Verge.

Several other companies -- including Microsoft, Uber, and Lyft -- have dropped forced arbitration clauses from sexual harassment claims, The Verge reported. 

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