Uber ends arbitration requirement for sex misconduct claims

15 May, 2018, 21:45 | Author: Leah Owens
  • Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has made company culture a priority

Now, survivors can choose to pursue their claims in arbitration, mediation or open court.

After several high-profile scandals, Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi, who took the top job in August a year ago, has been unveiling several safety measures to restore Uber's brand and image.

Uber will end its practice of mandatory arbitration for claims of sexual assault and harassment by riders, drivers or employees, the company said Tuesday.

"When it comes to sexual assault, sexual harassment, one of the things we learned is it's very important to make sure that survivors have control and agency, and we want to be able to give them the choice of form", West said Tuesday, only on "CBS This Morning". "So moving forward, survivors will be free to choose to resolve their individual claims in the venue they prefer", wrote Tony West, Uber's chief legal officer.

West added that Uber will not require confidentiality provisions in any settlements.

Uber has agreed to change their terms of service which previously required Uber passengers that were sexually assaulted by Uber drivers to enter arbitration, CNN reports.

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The San Francisco company is also scrapping a policy requiring all settlements of sexual misconduct to be kept confidential.

Uber also announced two other policy changes pertaining to sexual assault. "They will be free to tell their story wherever and however they see fit".

And on the new transparency report, West admits Uber struggled with the decision to publish data - saying this is "because data on safety and sexual assaults is sparse and inconsistent", and there is no uniform industry standard for reporting it. To do so, it will develop a common taxonomy for how to classify sexual harassment and assault reports, which it plans to also make available to other companies. And in a Twitter exchange in March Khosrowshahi signaled he was willing to consider ending forced arbitration.

"It's one step toward making a change, but just bringing the issue into the open doesn't solve the problem", Christensen told Reuters.

However, in the end, Uber has decided it will go ahead and publish data.

Uber is now facing a class action lawsuit in the United States for poor driver vetting that has led to a series of sexual harassment incidents, including rape. "We know that a project of this magnitude will take some time, but we pledge to keep you updated along the way".

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