Uber changes policies for claims of sexual harassment, assault

Uber ends policy of forced arbitration for individual sexual assault claims		
	Natasha Lomas

   	7 hours

Uber ends policy of forced arbitration for individual sexual assault claims Natasha Lomas @ 7 hours

Uber Technologies Inc. said it will let sexual assault and harassment victims sue the company in court and plans to release data on sexual violence and other risky incidents that occur on its ride-hailing service.

The San Francisco company is also scrapping a policy requiring all settlements of sexual misconduct to be kept confidential. He was hired in August amid a wave of revelations and allegations about rampant sexual harassment in Uber's workforce, a coverup of a big data breach, dirty tricks and stolen trade secrets.

Fourteen women are attempting to sue Uber over sexual assaults and harassment they faced from drivers.

This move comes two weeks after CNN published a report that found at least 103 Uber drivers in the US have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing their passengers in the last four years.

The rideshare business stated Tuesday it will not push into arbitration travelers who declare that they have actually been sexually attacked or bugged by motorists- something Uber states was formerly needed under its regards to service. Instead, they can take the claim straight to court.

"We have learned it's important to give sexual assault and harassment survivors control of how they pursue their claims", he said.

But divulging the details of what happened in a sexual assault or harassment should be up to the survivor, not us.

"It is a move in the right direction but the problem is the arbitration agreement prevents class action lawsuit which is essential for a policy change", said Veena Dubal, associate professor of law at the University of California, Hastings.

Lyft announced its new stance Tuesday, a few hours after Uber announced the same shift as part of its efforts to turn over a new leaf after a wave of revelations and allegations about its bad behavior.

The upheaval in Uber's leadership was prompted in large part by one woman, Susan Fowler, who publicly shared her story about experiencing egregious sexual harassment at Uber and reporting it, repeatedly, to managers and human resources reps who dismissed her concerns and threatened retaliation.

At least 31 drivers have been convicted for crimes ranging from forcible touching and false imprisonment to rape, and dozens of criminal and civil cases are pending, CNN found. Last month, Khosrowshahi said Uber would more closely monitor driver backgrounds. However, the numbers suggest that there may be many more overall incidents of sexual assault than the cases found in the investigation.

West told CNN he expects the number of reports to go up once Uber releases data on sexual assaults and other incidents. They now have the choice of arbitration, mediation or open court if they file suit individually. In his blog post, West said the company met with more than 80 women's groups to develop appropriate data-collection strategies.

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