Google Responded to Workplace Complaints With Counseling
Another Google employee, who asked to remain anonymous because she still works at the company, recalled that when she complained about a racist and toxic manager, she was told that she might have need resilience training. She was also offered the same options: counseling or paid medical leave. She chose the latter. A former London-based Google employee said she was also offered counseling when she filed sexual assault complaints.
When Timnit Gebru, former co-head of Google’s AI ethics team, raised concerns about biases in the tech giant’s artificial intelligence, he was also offered “full resources.” conscience, ”she said in an email. She declined the offer, telling HR that “no amount of mindfulness fixes a hostile work environment.”
“One of my first questions when I have new clients is, ‘Have you seen a therapist in previous years?’ ”Ms. Mizrahi said. If someone had seen a therapist a long time ago for reasons unrelated to the current case and was otherwise in good mental health until their work environment became difficult, lawyers can argue that these earlier cases are irrelevant and should not be handed over to company lawyers in the event of a dispute. .
But when there are contemporary treatment records, it becomes much more difficult to say that they are irrelevant to the case in question. (Of course, in some cases that evidence might actually strengthen an employee’s case.)
When a counselor or therapist receives a subpoena, they may seek to quash the subpoena or seek to disclose “as little information as possible,” said Dr Lee of the University of Seattle. However, when it comes to assigning an EAP advisor, “I could see how there could be a potential conflict of interest,” she added.
The location of the advisers could also suggest a violation of independence, said Ms Hull, a labor lawyer. “I am very suspicious of EAP advisers who are in the same building as Human Resources, sometimes in the same suite as Human Resources,” she added.
She said that one of her clients, who is not affiliated with Google, told an employer-provided counselor that she was considering hiring a lawyer to complain about her work environment. The next day, according to Hull, human resources pulled the employee aside to ask her why she was looking to hire a lawyer – a fact she had not revealed to anyone other than her advisor.
In many cases, when complainants realize that their advice and medical records could be made public in cases of emotional distress, they decide to settle or drop their claims, Ms. Mizrahi said.
Daisuke wakabayashi contributed reports.
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