Uber settles investigation into workplace culture
In 2017, a former Uber employee wrote a public essay describing how the company had allowed harassment to fester in the workplace.
The revelations resulted in an outcry over the toxic culture of Uber. Federal authorities and others began investigations. More than 20 employees were fired over their part in the behavior. Along with the disclosures raised questions about Uber’s growth-at-all-costs mentality, leading to the ouster of Travis Kalanick, a co-founder and then the chief executive.
On Wednesday, Uber resolved one investigation . The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which was analyzing the company since 2017, said it had’found reasonable cause to believe that Uber allowed a culture of sexual harassment and retaliation against people who complained about such harassment.’
Uber said it had agreed to a settlement with the agency by establishing a $4.4 million fund to pay current and former workers who were sexually harassed at work. It also agreed to three years of observation by a former agency commissioner to make certain that it changes its practices.
‘This arrangement will hopefully empower women in technology to speak up against sexism in the workplace knowing that their voices can yield meaningful change,’ Ami Sanghvi, a trial attorney with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission who consulted on the analysis, said in a statement.
Tony West, Uber’s chief legal officer, said the company had’worked hard to ensure that all employees can thrive at Uber by putting fairness and responsibility at the heart of who we are and what we do’ and was working with the commission to enhance those efforts.
The settlement showed how Uber was addressing the consequences of its internal conduct more than two years after the envelope-pushing behaviour of its executives and workers first came to light.
The company remains under investigation that it made to allow it to evade scrutiny.