Uber Under Investigation for Permitting a Culture of Sexual Harassment

Published on: 19 Dec, 2019

Uber (NYSE: UBER) was found permitting a culture of sexual harassment and retaliation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Wednesday, December 18. Uber, is an American multinational ride-hailing company offering services that include peer-to-peer ridesharing, ride service hailing, food delivery, and a micro-mobility system with electric bikes and scooters.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which as been examining the company since 2017, said it had “found reasonable cause to believe that Uber permitted a culture of sexual harassment and retaliation against individuals who complained about such harassment” according to Kate Conger. Uber’s workplace culture first became an issue in February 2017 when a former engineer, Susan Fowler, detailed her complaints about sexual Harassment. Uber had also fired 20 employees over their part in the behavior. Not only that, Uber agreed to a settlement by agreeing on a USD 4.4 Million funds to pay current and former employees who were a victim of this violation.

“This agreement will hopefully empower women in technology to speak up against sexism in the workplace knowing that their voices can yield meaningful change,” Ami Sanghvi, a trial lawyer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission who consulted on the investigation, said in a statement. Tony West, Uber’s chief legal officer, said the company had “worked hard to ensure that all employees can thrive at Uber by putting fairness and accountability at the heart of who we are and what we do”

Uber also had tried to be more transparent about its track record on safety and harassment. This month, it releases that it had a count of 3,045 sexual assaults in 2018, which isn’t a lot compared to the overall total rides from Uber.

“The tech industry, among others, has often ignored allegations of sexual harassment when an accused harasser is seen as more valuable to the company than the accuser,” said William Tamayo, the San Francisco district director of the employment commission.

Uber responded by saying it would also develop tools to help it respond proactively to harassment accusations. According to the article, the company said it would begin identifying employees who have been the subject of more than one harassment complaint and identify managers who don’t respond quickly when their employees raise complaints of harassment.

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Nelson Cheng

Email: nelson@financialinsiders.com

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