wnol.info July 20 2018

Uber ends mandatory arbitration for sexual assault cases

July 20 2018, 08:24 | Guillermo Bowen

Uber To No Longer Force Sex Assault Victims Into Arbitration

Uber ends forced arbitration agreements of sexual assault claims

Uber said Tuesday it will no longer require mandatory arbitration for individual claims of sexual harassment or assault by its riders, drivers or employees as the company announced new safety measures to combat sexual violence in its vehicles. Uber said the changes won't unwind previous settlements, but will apply to all future complaints, effective immediately. "Uber is not immune to this deeply rooted problem, and we believe that it is up to us to be a big part of the solution". These agreements can help companies avoid costly, protracted legal disputes but they also tend to protect bad behavior.

Susan Fowler, a former Uber engineer whose account of harassment and sexism at the company prompted a wide-ranging investigation into the companys workplace culture, has also thrown her weight behind legislation in California that would prohibit companies from making arbitration agreements a condition of employment. Kalanick resigned later that month.

It's a conciliatory step from CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.

Some lawmakers had urged Uber to waive binding arbitration for sexual harassment complaints. "It is painfully clear that NDAs have hidden far too much wrongdoing from public scrutiny and, in some settings and with some people, have enabled serial harassment to go on for years or even decades".

Hollywood Stars To Stage Sexual Assault Protest On Cannes Red Carpet
Also likely absent from Cannes will be two filmmakers living under house arrest in their home countries. The Han Solo spinoff " Solo : A Star Wars Story " is set for an worldwide premiere on May 15.

By the end of the year, Uber will also start to publicly report incidents of alleged sexual misconduct in hopes of establishing more transparency about the issue throughout the ride-hailing and traditional taxi industries.

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. 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.

Uber is not the first major tech company to announce this change: Microsoft announced a similar move in December 2017. In March 2018, Uber came under fire after court records showed it had tried to push the women in that case toward individual arbitration. Hearings have the trappings of a court hearing-arbitrators are often retired judges-except that they are wholly private.

Uber has to formally decide by Wednesday whether it will require the women in the proposed class action suit to carry out their assault claims in forced arbitration. "What's most important is for individual survivors to be able to tell their individual stories".

Other news