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Facebook scraps forced arbitration for sexual harassment claims

The move comes a day after Google announced the same change to its sexual misconduct policy.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
James Martin

Facebook said Friday it will no longer force employees to settle sexual harassment claims through private arbitration, following in the footsteps of Google, Microsoft and Uber, which have also scrapped the controversial rule.

"Today, we are publishing our updated Workplace Relationships policy and amending our arbitration agreements to make arbitration a choice rather than a requirement in sexual harassment claims. Sexual harassment is something that we take very seriously and there is no place for it at Facebook," the company said in a statement.

The change means that Facebook employees can pursue their sexual harassment complaints in open court. Facebook is also requiring executives to disclose if they are dating someone in the company.

Facebook's move comes after Google said it's overhauling its sexual misconduct policy after thousands of employees walked out in protest of how the tech firm handles sexual harassment claims.

Workers demanded that Google end forced arbitration after an investigation by The New York Times revealed that the company gave Andy Rubin -- a senior executive accused of sexual harassment -- a $90 million exit package.

Lori Goler, vice president of people at Facebook, told The Wall Street Journal that Facebook employees have discussed sexual harassment within the company even though they haven't staged their own protest.

"There's no question that we're at a pivotal moment," Goler told the news outlet. "This is a time when we can be part of taking the next step."

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