Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Uber to allow sexual assault and harassment victims to sue company

Turning the lights on | Uber Newsroom US The Latest: Lyft follows Uber's shift on sexual misconduct
Kim Reese | 15 May, 2018, 22:43

The company is ending the controversial practice of forced arbitration for all of its employees, riders, and drivers, reports CNBC.

Forced arbitration is common to many industries and allows companies to keep sexual misconduct claims out of the court system and away from public view, the Times said.

The company says the change is an attempt to bring "transparency, integrity, and accountability" to the way it handles workplace complaints.

Uber also promised to publish a safety transparency report that will put numbers behind sexual assaults and other incidents that occur on its platform.

CNN reported in April that at least 103 Uber drivers in the USA have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing passengers in the last four years.

"Whether to find closure, seek treatment, or become advocates for change themselves, survivors will be in control of whether to share their stories", wrote Tony West, Uber's chief legal officer, in a blog post.

'Gotham' Renewed for Fifth and Final Season on FOX
The DC Comics/Warner Bros. production Gotham will return to Fox for a fifth season, the studio revealed in a tweet today. FOX dropped Lucifer like a hot potato, surprising everyone, andLucifer's numbers are a lot better than Gotham's are.

Court records in a California class-action lawsuit revealed that the ride-sharing firm has argued that female passengers who speak up about being raped in an Uber must individually settle their cases through arbitration, a private process that often results in confidentiality agreements, The Guardian reported. However, the numbers suggest that there may be many more overall incidents of sexual assault than the cases found in the investigation.

"It's one step toward making a change, but just bringing the issue into the open doesn't solve the problem", Christensen told Reuters. That includes court proceedings like class-action lawsuits and other methods like mediation.

Following CNN's investigation and the letter, Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from CT, challenged Uber's use of forced arbitration and in a letter to CEO Dara Khosrowshahi "respectfully requested" the company end the practice.

Giving victims of sexual assault or perceived sexual harassment more options sends an important message that Uber is taking the issue more seriously, said Kristen Houser, a spokeswoman for Raliance, a coalition of groups working with Uber to prevent sexual abuse on its service.

The letter, sent on behalf of 14 women, called upon Uber's board to drop the arbitration requirement to shine a light on abusive conduct.

And the company gained a reputation for sexism past year after a viral blog post from a former engineer, according to The Washington Post.

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