Uber Technologies said it will let sexual assault and harassment victims sue the company in court and plans to release data on sexual violence and other dangerous incidents that occur on its ride-hailing service.

Previously, Uber’s terms of service barred sexual assault victims” and other potential litigants” from pursuing their claims against Uber in open court, redirecting their cases to private arbitration. Now, in the U.S., Uber is waiving the requirement for these victims. They will still be free to opt for arbitration or mediation if they prefer to resolve the matter privately.

Uber will still seek to enforce other types of litigants to engage behind closed doors. And like other complainants, sexual assault victims will continue to be barred by the terms of service from banding together to bring class-action lawsuits against the company.

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The move comes amid the #MeToo movement, in which women have come forward with accounts of sexual harassment, assault and workplace mistreatment. Uber faced a reckoning of its own last year after former software engineer Susan Fowler wrote a poignant blog post documenting harassment she faced there.

“There’s no question that Uber has a unique relationship to the issue of sexual harassment in particular because of Susan Fowler’s blog,” said Tony West, Uber’s chief legal officer. West and Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi took over late last year and have attempted to turn the company around. “This is an issue that is much much much bigger than Uber.”

Fourteen women are attempting to sue Uber over sexual assaults and harassment they faced from drivers. The women, represented by law firm Wigdor LLP, made a direct appeal to Uber’s board in a letter last month, asking directors to waive …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


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