Under Pressure, Uber Ends Forced Arbitration For Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Uber says it will no longer quietly settle sexual misconduct claims

Uber will now allow these victims to choose where and how they want to pursue restitution and justice whether that's through arbitration, mediation or open court, modifying what was previously written in its terms of service. West and Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi took over late previous year and have attempted to turn the company around.

The ride-share company has announced that it will no longer force alleged victims of harassment and sexual assault-including its passengers, drivers and corporate employees-into private arbitration.

Arbitration clauses have played a role in high-profile settlements involving film mogul Harvey Weinstein and others, enabling accusations and settlements to be made in secret.

Uber's sexist policies within their company, as well as their bad habit of hiring drivers that have a tendency to sexually assault their customers have always been public knowledge.

Before Uber made these changes, riders had to solve any claims on an individual basis through arbitration.

Uber likewise revealed 2 other policy changes relating to sexual assault. While it's easy to pick on individual companies like Uber for having policies like this, the truth is that they're just doing what all companies do.

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

"I$3 t's clear that sexual violence remains a huge problem globally", Uber's chief legal officer, Tony West, said in a statement.

The modification comes 2 weeks after the reporter reported the outcomes of its examination, which discovered a minimum of 103 Uber motorists in the United States who have actually been implicated of sexually attacking or abusing their guests in the past 4 years. Jeanne Christensen, a Wigdor partner, congratulated Uber for shedding the arbitration policy, a move she said "will begin a process to reduce future suffering by women passengers". It will publish a safety transparency report that will include data on sexual assaults and other incidents.

" I will inform you that, when this information is really released as part of the security openness report, I believe those numbers are going to be disturbing", stated West.

The Uber news was announced a day ahead of a court-mandated deadline for the company to respond to a proposed class action lawsuit filed by law firm Wigdor LLP on behalf of nine women accusing drivers of sexual assault. The changes governing sexual misconduct come a month after Uber announced it will do criminal background checks on its USA drivers annually and add a 911 button for summoning help in emergencies.

Indeed, Tuesday's change seems tied to a larger, concerted campaign by Dara Khosrowshahi to at least superficially reform the historically troubled company.

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