Uber Shifts How it Handles Sex Assault Cases


Not to be outdone, Lyft announced Tuesday it would also scrap its rules binding passengers and drivers to private arbitration and confidential settlements in cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct.

Susan Fowler, the former Uber engineer whose blog post drove Uber to address sexual harassment within the company's corporate workforce, is fighting on the workplace issue more broadly in California.

Uber's arbitration policy had previously been challenged in lawsuits, according to CNN. Uber is simultaneously publishing a safety transparency report that will include sexual assault and other safety violations.

Additionally, if someone is unfortunately subjected to sexual harassment or assault, no matter how they seek to adjudicate that claim (whether arbitration, mediation, or traditional litigation in a public court) Uber won't force them to agree to stay quiet about their experience. "The last 18 months have exposed a silent epidemic of sexual assault and harassment that haunts every industry and every community", West said in a statement.

Previously, if you wanted to use Uber's app that meant you automatically agreed to terms and conditions and agreed to resolve any legal claims in an arbitration hearing.

"So we're making it clear that Uber will not require confidentiality provisions or non-disclosure agreements to prevent survivors from talking about the facts of what happened to them". These agreements can help companies avoid costly, protracted legal disputes but they also tend to protect bad behavior.

A day after Fowler's report went public, Uber hired Eric Holder, a former United States attorney general under president Barack Obama, to investigate allegations of sexual harassment.

Uber announced two other policy changes Tuesday.

Last August, Dara Khosrowshahi took over for Kalanick and immediately began taking steps to point the company's "moral compass" in the right direction.

Law firm Wigdor LLC proposed a class-action lawsuit in November on behalf of nine women who made accusations against Uber drivers. In March 2018, Uber came under fire after court records showed it had tried to push the women in that case toward individual arbitration. "What's most important is for individual survivors to be able to tell their individual stories".