Harassment: after Google, Facebook promises transparency

Facebook announced Friday that it will take steps to ensure greater transparency in cases of sexual harassment within the company, echoing the recent Google announcements on the subject.

Employees who report situations of sexual harassment will no longer be bound by the obligatory "compromise clause", which requires them to resort to a form of extrajudicial and private mediation rather than to a public trial.

"The arbitration clause will now be optional and not mandatory in the event of sexual harassment," said one of the group's communications officers at the AFP.

"Sexual harassment has no place in Facebook," he added.

The company's internal policy has also been changed: executives or managers of a certain level from now on will be obliged to notify the human resources department if they have a relationship with another employee to prevent possible abuse.

These announcements arrive while another computer giant, Google, has also promised Thursday to abolish the mandatory nature of the arbitration clauses.

"We have to admit that we have not always done the right thing in the past and we are sincerely sorry," wrote the head of technology giant Sundar Pichai in an e-mail to employees sent to AFP.

"Of course we have to make changes," he continued.

Google has promised to regularly report the number of sexual harassment cases in the company and the disciplinary measures taken.

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