Uber won't force sexual assault survivors into arbitration

Uber won't force sexual assault survivors into arbitration

Uber won't force sexual assault survivors into arbitration

The raid-hailing company's terms of service previously required any legal claims be resolved in an arbitration hearing, rather than open court, according to The New York Times.

Uber's ride-hailing service will give its USA passengers and drivers more leeway to pursue claims of sexual misconduct, its latest attempt to shed its reputation for brushing aside bad behavior. Fowler described a direct manager who propositioned her, an engineering team that bled female talent, and a human-resources department that systematically dismissed her concerns in order to protect "high performers". West joined Uber in October 2017 after previously serving as associate attorney general during the Obama administration. Kalanick resigned later that month.

Since taking over from Kalanick, new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has tried to right the ship. "This is the beginning of a longer process needed to meaningfully improve safety". Last year, sexual-harassment claims toppled dozens of powerful men, from Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and television host Charlie Rose to several prominent venture capitalists.

"Nondisclosure agreements are fading fast as an acceptable tool for settling sexual harassment cases", Suzanne Goldberg, an expert on gender and sexuality law, and professor at Columbia Law School, said in an email.

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The company also said it would stop requiring confidentiality as part of settlements in sexual assault and harassment lawsuits, CNN reported.

"We think it is very, very important to allow survivors of sexual assault and sexual harassment the control and agency that was, frankly, stripped from them in that incident", Tony West, Uber's chief legal officer, told CNN.

There is no publicly available data for the number of sexual assaults by Uber drivers or drivers of other rideshare companies.

There's now no way to "reliably or accurately" compare Uber's safety to other forms of transportation, Chief Legal Officer Tony West said in the blog post announcing the move, and sexual assault is a "vastly underreported crime". In March 2018, Uber came under fire after court records showed it had tried to push the women in that case toward individual arbitration. That includes court proceedings like class-action lawsuits and other methods like mediation. Even worse for consumers is that in the world of arbitration, there is no possibility of class-action claims.

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