Uber Won't Force Sexual Misconduct Survivors Into Arbitration Anymore

15 May, 2018, 22:19 | Author: Grady King
  • US-AVIATION-SCIENCE-TRANSPORTATION

The company will now allow victims to choose the venue in which they wish to address sexual assault allegations, whether that be in open court, mediation or arbitration. The drivers were arrested, are wanted by police, or have been named in civil suits related to the incidents.

Uber says it's putting safety at the core of everything it does.

The decision to yield to pressure from critics who had pushed Uber to forgo the controversial legal practice is the companys latest move to improve its badly tarnished image since Dara Khosrowshahi took over as chief executive last August. That means that the group of aforementioned women will have to resort to individual claims if they intend to sue Uber in open court. "I want to thank (CNN) for the reporting that you've done on this issue".

Despite repeated requests, the company has yet to agree to an on-camera interview with CNN. West joined Uber in October 2017 after previously serving as associate attorney general during the Obama administration.

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An April 2018 CNN search of police and court records in 20 major United States cities found that 103 Uber drivers had been accused of sexual assault over the previous four years; 31 drivers had been convicted and dozens of others faced criminal and civil cases at the time.

Victims of sexual assault or harassment will now have the option to settle claims with the ride-hailing service without a confidentiality provision that prevents them from speaking about the incident, the company said. In March 2018, Uber came under fire after court records showed it had tried to push the women in that case toward individual arbitration.

"Divulging the details of what happened in a sexual assault or harassment should be up to the survivor, not us", West said.

Uber also announced other company policy changes regarding sexual violence. CNN's analysis came from an in-depth review of police reports, federal court records and county court databases for 20 major U.S. cities.

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It may also spur more complaints. That includes investigations into the possible use of illegal software to monitor competitors and even disrupt efforts to regulate the ride-sharing service.

Finally, West said the company would "commit" to publishing a "safety transparency report", as a way to "turn the lights on" against this scourge. "Once people know we're counting and we're paying attention then what is a vastly unreported crime today will become more reported - and that's a good thing". The company's revised policies, in addition to not being applied retroactively, also don't apply to class-action claims.

That new direction includes ending the use of forced arbitration agreements.

Last month, Susan Fowler, the former Uber engineer who authored a 2017 viral blog post about sexual harassment she endured while working there, penned an op-ed for the New York Times on how to terminate such behavior.

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In December, Microsoft announced it was eliminating forced arbitration agreements with employees who made sexual assault or harassment claims.

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