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Uber under Fire for Sexual Harassment

The ride-hail company Uber recently fired 20 employees after the company came under fire for sexual harassment, which was part of an ongoing investigation into a “climate and culture” of mistreatment of employees, contractors, and customers.

Announcement of the terminations, some of which included senior executives and affected mostly employees at the company’s San Francisco headquarters, came from an attorney Uber hired to assist in the investigation. Evidence of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, bullying, and other unprofessional behavior, as well as physical safety issues were found during the investigation.

Uber Face Ongoing Problems with Misconduct

This is not the first time Uber has faced allegations of misconduct. The company was subject to a criminal investigation earlier this year by the Justice Department concerning its use of software to trick regulators and avoid the scrutiny of the government. Uber is also battling a trade-secrets lawsuit filed against it by Google.

The sexual harassment investigation was launched after a former employee of Uber published a blog post in which she accused the company of sexual harassment and claimed Uber had a “discriminatory work environment.” The author of the post, Susan Fowler, had been a site-reliability engineer and described the year she worked for Uber. She claimed her personal reports of sexual harassment were ignored by the company’s HR department and upper management. Other women came forward to discuss mistreatment at Uber once Fowler’s post went viral.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment in the workplace is an ongoing problem. We have represented clients in sexual harassment litigation. The defendants in these cases often attempt to defend by asserting that management or human resource personnel were not on notice of the alleged sexual harassment before the complaint that led to the litigation. That is why is extremely important for employees to notify management and human resource departments when such behavior initially occurs.

Many employees have told us that they feared being fired for reporting sexual harassment, so we understand the practical reality of these situations. However, this article seems to suggest that Uber actually took action against perpetrators of sexual harassment in response to employee complaints. For more information or to speak to an attorney about sexual harassment in the workplace, contact Heavens Law at 888.897.5377.

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