Uber changes policy on sexual-misconduct claims, allowing victims to pursue charges

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

An Uber investigation at the time resulted in the firing of about 20 people, and former Attorney General Eric Holder said the male-dominated company didn't have basic policies to protect against harassment. The company hopes that the move will help to eliminate the culture of silence that the transportation service has pushed for years. And like other complainants, sexual assault victims will continue to be barred by the terms of service from banding together to bring class-action lawsuits against the company.

Uber is now facing a class action lawsuit in the United States for poor driver vetting that has led to a series of sexual harassment incidents, including rape. Even so, the company says it "agree [s] with the changes" and isn't shy about following its rival's lead in most respects.

"It takes an incident like sexual assault to expose the one-sided nature of these compulsory arbitration clauses", says Gilman.

In addition, it will release a "security openness report" that will put numbers behind sexual assaults and other events that happen on its platform. "We desire individuals to acknowledge the enormity of the concern, and we desire us to start to think about positive methods to prevent and end sexual assault".

Assault victims will also have the option to forgo a non-disclosure agreement as part of a settlement.

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Uber is shifting its stance after receiving an open letter from the NY law firm Wigdor LLP, which already has filed a lawsuit seeking to be certified as a class action representing women who allege they have been raped, sexually harassed or abused in other ways by Uber drivers.

A minimum of 31 motorists have actually been founded guilty for criminal offenses varying from forcible touching and unlawful imprisonment to rape, and lots of criminal and civil cases are pending, the reporter discovered. Uber is working with experts focused on sexual violence to come up with reporting standards. In fact, there is no data to reliably or accurately compare reports against Uber drivers versus taxi drivers or limo drivers, or Uber versus buses, subways, airplanes or trains. However, the numbers suggest that there may be many more overall incidents of sexual assault than the cases found in the investigation. They now have the choice of arbitration, mediation or open court if they file suit individually. The females will need to bring other claims in the fit, consisting of unreasonable service practices, to an arbitrator. After just 8 weeks on the job, our CEO Dara Khosrowshahi introduced a new mantra to employees: "We do the right thing, period".

Beyond Uber, there's been a push to cut back on the use of forced arbitration by employers. We must demand that our federal and state legislatures pass laws that ban forced arbitration in all cases of discrimination and harassment.

"As bold and far reaching as this announcement and decision is, and as unique as it is, it won't give everything to everybody", West said.

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