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

Employees who report sexual harassment situations will no longer be constrained by the mandatory "arbitration clause", which requires them to resort to some form of out-of-court and private mediation rather than a public trial.

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

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

The internal policy of the company has also been changed: managers or executives of a certain level will henceforth be obliged to notify the human resources department if they have an affair with another employee to prevent possible abuse.

These announcements come as another computer giant, Google, also promised Thursday to abolish the mandatory nature of arbitration clauses.

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

"Clearly we have to make changes," he continued.

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


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