Nov 9, 2018

Facebook ends arbitration mandate for sexual harassment claims

Facebook office in London. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images

Following Google's move in the face of employee pressure, Facebook is ending its mandatory arbitration for employee claims of sexual harassment, as the Wall Street Journal first reported and the company confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: Unlike public lawsuits, forced arbitration for complaints of sexual harassment (as for those of discrimination) has been widely criticized as a tactic to silence victims and hide misconduct within companies. Earlier this year, Uber—followed by Lyft—made similar changes in response to ongoing criticism of the arbitration requirement from employees, drivers, and passengers.

Facebook is also updating its policy around relationships within the company to now require that any executive at the director level or above disclose relationships even if it's with an employee not in their chain or reporting.

Yes, but: Just like Google, Facebook's policy change doesn't apply to contractors, as they're bound by their agreements with their respective employment agencies. Facebook's policy change also applies only to individual claims, though a group of individuals with lawsuits in court could form a class, says a spokesman.

Go deeper

Government tech struggles to dole out coronavirus stimulus cash

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Tech challenges are hampering federal and state government efforts to get funds from the $2 trillion coronavirus relief law into the hands of newly unemployed workers and struggling small businesses who need it.

Why it matters: Many businesses and individuals need the money now for essentials, including meeting payroll and paying rent.

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll passes 9,600

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 9,600 in the U.S. on Monday, per Johns Hopkins data. More than 1,000 people in the U.S. have died of coronavirus-related conditions each day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday the coming week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 1,289,380 — Total deaths: 70,590 — Total recoveries: 270,372Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 337,971 — Total deaths: 9,654 — Total recoveries: 17,582Map.
  3. Federal government latest: White House adviser Peter Navarro defends hydroxychloroquine use in heated CNN interview after he battled Anthony Fauci in the Situation Room over its use.
  4. Public health latest: Health care workers vs. the coronavirus
  5. Trump latest: The pandemic may delay a Supreme Court case on the president's tax returns, sparing him from having to release them before the 2020 election.
  6. World update: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to the hospital as a "precautionary step."
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.