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Uber Changes Policy to Combat Sexual Misconduct

June 29th, 2018

Montgomery County sexual harassment lawyers fight for victims of sexual harassment and report on Uber's change of policy.Uber, a popular ride-hailing app, recently announced changes to its sexual misconduct policy, allowing both passengers and drivers to pursue claims. Previously, the company would only permit arbitration of allegations. Now, Uber drivers and customers may file claims in court. Uber is also getting rid of a policy that required any civil settlements regarding sexual misconduct to remain confidential. Victims can choose to share their stories or remain silent, but silence is no longer a legal requirement.

It is likely that the public will know more about the history of immoral behavior on both the driver’s and rider’s sides. Not coincidentally, rival Lyft announced a similar new policy that eliminates arbitration requirements and ends confidential settlements in sexual misconduct cases.

The new policy can prevent outright sexual assault and stop less than appropriate behavior from escalating. For example, Uber expects to receive more complaints about drivers asking passengers out. The idea is that reporting minor issues and dealing with them may prevent larger issues in the long run.

More Transparency

Uber promises more transparency by reporting sexual misconduct issues publicly by the end of the year. Uber’s chief legal officer stated that the company expects the numbers to be disturbing. In a blog post, he referred to the new policy as turning the lights on. However, he notes that there is no current data comparing sexual misconduct among Uber drivers to regular taxi drivers, limousine drivers, or employees of any public transportation system. While Uber operates worldwide, it appears that the transparency report is limited only to incidents occurring in the United States.

Annual Background Checks

Earlier this year, Uber announced it would require annual criminal background checks on all drivers. The company will also install 911 buttons so that emergency help is quickly available. It is an effort by the company that they take sexual assault issues seriously, since critics accused them previously of ignoring such problems and sweeping them under the rug.

While sexual assault and harassment have been hot topics in industries across the board for the past two years, Uber’s timing of its announcement may have something to do with an open letter sent to Uber’s Board of Directors by 14 women who have filed a class-action lawsuit against the company. In the letter, the women allege they were raped, sexually assaulted, and/or kidnapped by their Uber drivers. The lawsuit itself references Uber’s poor background check process for drivers and states that the arbitration clause silenced victims. Some of the women shared disturbing and graphic details of their sexual assault.

Montgomery County Sexual Harassment Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Fight for Victims of Sexual Harassment

If you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, you need the services of the experienced Montgomery County sexual harassment lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Call us today at 215-569-1999 or submit an online contact form for a free consultation. We are in Philadelphia, and we serve clients from the surrounding areas, including Bucks County, Chester County, and Delaware County.

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