Saturday, 26 May, 2018

Uber Won't Force Sexual Misconduct Survivors Into Arbitration Anymore

Uber is making a major change Uber is making a major change
Troy Mann | 15 May, 2018, 22:33

Now, in a surprising turn, her former employer is doing just that.

Uber's ride-hailing service will give its USA passengers and drivers more leeway to pursue claims of sexual misconduct, its latest attempt to shed its reputation for brushing aside bad behavior.

Uber's arbitration policy had previously been challenged in lawsuits, according to CNN.

Additionally, it will publish a "safety transparency report" that will put numbers behind sexual assaults and other incidents that occur on its platform.

"It's only by accounting and acknowledging [reports] that we are empowered to take action in reducing the incidents of sexual assault", said West. "Uber is not immune to this deeply rooted problem, and we believe that it is up to us to be a big part of the solution". The saga ultimately resulted in cofounder Travis Kalanick being booted from the CEO job. Fowler described a direct manager who propositioned her, an engineering team that bled female talent, and a human-resources department that systematically dismissed her concerns in order to protect "high performers".

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West, who joined Uber in October 2017, served as associate attorney general during the Obama administration, and helped with the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2013. Kalanick resigned later that month. "This is the beginning of a longer process needed to meaningfully improve safety". The ensuing #MeToo movement has fueled efforts among lawmakers to to revise the conventional wisdom on how to handle sexual harassment complaints.

In addition, survivors will have the option to settle their claims with Uber without a confidentiality provision that prevents them from speaking about the facts of the sexual assault or sexual harassment they suffered.

"We have learned it's important to give sexual assault and harassment survivors control of how they pursue their claims", he said.

Uber has been dealing with a series of recent scandals. Internal data viewed by BuzzFeed in 2016 showed thousands of customer-support tickets with the phrases "sexual assault" or "rape" from December 2012 to August 2015.

Uber is shifting its stance after receiving an open letter from the NY law firm Wigdor LLP, which already has filed a lawsuit seeking to be certified as a class action representing women who allege they have been raped, sexually harassed or abused in other ways by Uber drivers. As with the arbitration change, this will apply to cases now pending and cases moving forward. "Arbitration is the appropriate venue for this case", an Uber spokesperson said at the time. Even worse for consumers is that in the world of arbitration, there is no possibility of class-action claims.

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