In mid-December, news outlets reported that Uber established a $4.4 million fund to compensate employees who experienced workplace sexual harassment and retaliation. This is after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found that Uber allowed this culture to exist. This settlement was entered voluntarily by Uber and was agreed out of court.
The rideshare company also plans to work with a third-party consultant to revamp its policies and is creating a system to identify employees subjected to more than one harassment complaint. This system will also identify supervisors who did not address harassment concerns in a timely fashion. Uber will be monitored for three years by the EEOC’s former Commissioner.
Background on the Case
In 2017, a former Uber engineer from San Francisco blogged that her supervisor sexually harassed her and how no action was taken after she reported it to human resources. She claimed that Uber’s management responded by telling her that the supervisor was a high performer and they did not wish to punish him for what they termed to be an innocent mistake. She claimed that the supervisor harassed other females and was also informed that she would receive a low performance review if she remained on the team.
Following her claims, federal authorities began a large investigation at the company, and lawsuits were soon filed. Since then, there have been more than 200 sexual harassment claims and 20 employees have been fired.
Accountability Going Forward
The EEOC’s San Francisco district director said that many industries ignore sexual harassment allegations when accused harassers are perceived as more valuable than the accusers. He added that Uber is now more committed to holding management personnel accountable and identifying any repeat offenders. This should prevent harassers from continuing unwelcomed behaviors.
The EEOC Commissioner stated that the new agreement will hold Uber accountable and should set a tech industry standard going forward. This can be done by modeling efficient ways to combat workplace sexual harassment and retaliation. According to Uber’s chief legal officer, the company is working hard to make sure that every employee will thrive, and is placing accountability and fairness at the forefront of all their actions. He added that Uber worked jointly with the EEOC to establish and strengthen these measures.
Going forward, an EEOC claims administrator will be contacting female employees who were employed by Uber from January 1, 2014 through June 30, 2019. It will then be determined whether each employee is entitled to receive compensation.
Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Help Victims of Workplace Sexual Harassment
If you are facing workplace sexual harassment and/or retaliation, do not hesitate to contact the Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, northeast Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and South Jersey. For a free consultation, call us at 215-569-1999 or complete our online form.