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Uber to end forced arbitration for victims of sexual assault, harassment

16 May, 2018, 12:41 | Author: Melinda Barton
  • Uber will allow individuals to publicly file sex crimes claims

And last month, Fowler wrote an op-ed in The New York Times arguing that to fight sexual harassment, the US needs to bring an end to forced arbitration of sexual harassment cases - across the board. Arbitration clauses are fairly standard-they're included in the employment contracts of an estimated 60 million Americans.

Assault and harassment cases are now exempt from that requirement. But on Tuesday, it gained an unanticipated bedfellow: Fowler's original employer, Uber.

Uber has faced questions about how often its drivers assault or harass passengers.

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.

They can "tell their story wherever and however they see fit", West said.

The move - which has been hinted at earlier this year by Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi - means that riders will now be able to pursue allegations of sexual assault, harassment or other misconduct in court or in mediation. But as the tech sector digested the news, several loopholes came to light. "But we have learned it's important to give sexual assault and harassment survivors control of how they pursue their claims". However, it has since confirmed that it will not only publish a report, but work together with Uber on that report.

In addition to restricting class-action suits, Uber will still force users to keep certain settlement terms-for example, how much money they may or may not receive from Uber-confidential.

The court had given Uber until Wednesday to say whether it would require the women to submit their claims to arbitration.

Following the reporter's examination and the letter, Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from CT, challenged Uber's use of forced arbitration and in a letter to CEO Dara Khosrowshahi "respectfully asked for" the business end the practice. In recent weeks, Uber has announced plans to stop giving drivers a log of people's exact pickup and drop-off locations, which for years has perturbed female riders. The changes governing sexual misconduct come a month after Uber announced it will do criminal background checks on its US drivers annually and add a 911 button for summoning help in emergencies. Tuesday's announcement also lines up rather conspicuously with an advertising campaign Uber launched this week, in which it promises to be "moving forward".

Uber states it is taking actions to assist lower the culture of silence around sexual violence on its platform in the wake of a the reporter examination into sexual assaults and abuse by Uber motorists. As per Uber's terms of service that exists today, passengers relinquish their right to pursue any claims against Uber in open court when they sign up as a rider.


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