Uber ends arbitration requirement for sex misconduct claims

Judy Cobb
May 15, 2018

"When it comes to sexual assault, sexual harassment, one of the things we learned is it's very important to make sure that survivors have control and agency, and we want to be able to give them the choice of form", West said Tuesday, only on "CBS This Morning".

And on the new transparency report, West admits Uber struggled with the decision to publish data - saying this is "because data on safety and sexual assaults is sparse and inconsistent", and there is no uniform industry standard for reporting it.

In a move mirroring its rival, Lyft no longer will require complaints about sexual assault and harassment be heard in private arbitration, with all settlements remaining confidential.

Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said the move was "an important step forward in our commitment to safety and transparency".

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

Last month a group of women alleging sexual violence from Uber drivers sent an open letter to the company's board asking to be released from the mandatory arbitration clause in the Uber app's terms of service. To do so, it will develop a common taxonomy for how to classify sexual harassment and assault reports, which it plans to also make available to other companies.

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On the changes to confidentiality provisions, he says: "Divulging the details of what happened in a sexual assault or harassment should be up to the survivor, not us".

Uber is due to respond in court by Wednesday about whether it will require the women in the proposed class action suit to carry out their assault claims in arbitration. "We want to bring these numbers out in the open".

However, in the end, Uber has decided it will go ahead and publish data.

West told CNN he expects the number of reports to go up once Uber releases data on sexual assaults and other incidents. Ms. Fowler publicly challenged Mr. Khosrowshahi to scrap the forced arbitration agreements on Twitter.

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.

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