Technology • Internet & Web
YouTube launches "Shorts" in the US
YouTube Shorts Beta
YouTube Shorts Beta Credit: YouTube, Google

YouTube Shorts Beta, a short-form video experience and TikTok competitor, has launched in the US on Thursday. Shorts features "a multi-segment camera to string multiple video clips together, the ability to record with music, control speed settings, and more" and offers users a feed or short videos directly in the YouTube app instead of a separate app. YouTube announced it will add more features over the following weeks, including "the ability to use audio from videos across YouTube".

Business • Jobs & Careers
Google recommended mental health care when company workers complained about racism and sexism
Google logo
Google logo Credit: Google

NBC News reports that Google advised employees in the US who complained about racism and sexism to take medical leave and undergo mental health counselling.

One former staff member, Benjamin Cruz, has said that they had complained to the company HR in 2019 after being told by a colleague that their skin was much darker than the co-worker expected. Google HR urged Cruz to take medical leave and tend to their mental health before moving to a new company role. Cruz went on medical leave and hoped to take the company up on its offer for a new position but was turned down from every role they applied for, so they were forced to quit.

Google denies wrongdoing and said it "rigorously" investigates complaints.

Business • Jobs & Careers
Google has agreed to pay $2.59 million to settle allegations of discrimination
Google Logo
Google Logo Credit: Google

As part of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor over allegations of systemic discrimination, Google has agreed to pay $2.59 million to more than 5,500 current employees and former job applicants.

The settlement comes after the DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs found pay disparities affecting female software engineers at Google’s offices in Mountain View and offices in Seattle and Kirkland, Washington. The OFCCP also found differences in hiring rates that "disadvantaged female and Asian applicants" for engineers roles.

"The U.S. Department of Labor acknowledges Google's willingness to engage in settlement discussions and reach an early resolution," Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Regional Director Jane Suhr said in a press release.

Google workers form union amid ongoing tensions with senior executives
Google workers form union amid ongoing tensions with senior executives
Credit: Alphabet Workers Union

Over 200 employees of Google and its parent firm Alphabet have formed Alphabet Workers Union amid increasing disagreements with the company’s senior executives, including the handling of sexual misconduct by former executives, Google's partnership with the Pentagon and the controversial departure of AI researcher Timnnit Gebru.

"We hope to create a democratic process for workers to wield decision-making power; promote social, economic, and environmental justice; and end the unfair disparities between TVCs (temporary, vendors and contractors) and FTEs (full time employees)," the union's website said.