Uber drops arbitration for sexual assault victims

Uber drops arbitration for sexual assault victims

Not to be outdone, Lyft announced Tuesday it would also scrap its rules binding passengers and drivers to private arbitration and confidential settlements in cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct.

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'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.

"You want people to report lower level infractions so you can nip them in the bud before they become bigger problems", she said. West joined Uber in October 2017 after previously serving as associate attorney general during the Obama administration.

"It's only by accounting and acknowledging [reports] that we are empowered to take action in reducing the incidents of sexual assault", said West.

"It's one step toward making a change, but just bringing the issue into the open doesn't solve the problem", Christensen told Reuters.

Other changes include a "safety transparency report" that includes sex assault and harassment data. "Enabling survivors to make this choice will help to end the culture of silence that surrounds sexual violence".




Uber is shifting its stance after receiving an open letter from the NY law firm Wigdor LLP, which already has filed a lawsuit seeking to be certified as a class action representing women who allege they have been raped, sexually harassed or abused in other ways by Uber drivers.

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.

Uber said on Tuesday sexual harassment or assault victims will have the option to settle claims with the ride-hailing service without a confidentiality provision that prevents them from speaking about the incidents.

Uber competitor Lyft says it will no longer force victims of sexual assault into arbitration. Uber argued that the women will have to bring other claims in the suit, including unfair business practices, to an arbitrator.

Beyond Uber, there's been a push to cut back on the use of forced arbitration by employers.

And the company gained a reputation for sexism past year after a viral blog post from a former engineer, according to The Washington Post. "What's most important is for individual survivors to be able to tell their individual stories".

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