Lyft Follows Uber in Ending Forced Arbitration For Sexual Harassment Claims

Maria Sharapova on her way to a first round win over Ashleigh Barty in Rome

Uber has been embroiled in a series of scandals for well more than a year - including allegations of unchecked sexual harassment within Uber's headquarters, as well as controversies over the treatment of drivers and alleged business practices that were shady at best. Uber is also doing away with the mandate that all settlements concerning sexual assault or harassment must be kept confidential. Similar to the arbitration modification, this will apply to cases presently pending and cases progressing.

Additionally, it will publish a "safety transparency report" that will put numbers behind sexual assaults and other incidents that occur on its platform.

Assault and harassment cases are now exempt from that requirement. "We want to bring these numbers out in the open". CNN's analysis came from an in-depth review of police reports, federal court records and county court databases for 20 major United States cities.

In a Dallas courthouse, an Uber driver is on trial, charged with sexually assaulting a passenger in 2015 after following her into her home.

Uber did not provide details on the number of sexual harassment cases that are pending or have been settled, but when contacted by Reuters it said it will not revisit past cases that have been settled through the confidentiality agreement. Four drivers have been convicted.

The upheaval in Uber's leadership was prompted in large part by one woman, Susan Fowler, who publicly shared her story about experiencing egregious sexual harassment at Uber and reporting it, repeatedly, to managers and human resources reps who dismissed her concerns and threatened retaliation. "Once individuals understand we're counting and we're taking note then exactly what is a significantly unreported criminal offense today will end up being more reported- which's an advantage".


The company says it will lean on hired advisors such as Ebony Tucker of the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, Cindy Southworth of the National Network to End Domestic Violence and Tina Tchen, a founder of the New York Time's Up Legal Defense Fund.

Uber is now facing a class action lawsuit in the United States for poor driver vetting that has led to a series of sexual harassment incidents, including rape.

Uber, like many companies, has a clause in its user agreement - and its employment contract - that requires a person to waive his or her constitutional right to take Uber to court. This could be anywhere from arbitration to mediation or an open court setting. The females will need to bring other claims in the fit, consisting of unreasonable service practices, to an arbitrator. He joined Uber as the company was going under a public and top of the food chain transformation.

While applauding Uber for making a "good decision", Lyft also made a veiled reference to the legal pressures that may have contributed to the change.

Beyond Uber, there's been a push to cut down on using forced arbitration by companies. In his blog post, West said the company met with more than 80 women's groups to develop appropriate data-collection strategies.

"As bold and far reaching as this announcement and decision is, and as unique as it is, it won't give everything to everybody", West said.

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