The popularity of Uber, a private driver taxi service, has grown exponentially in the past few years. With low prices, convenient online booking, and speedy service, Uber has managed to overtake the taxi, limousine, and shuttle competition in certain cities across the United States. However, Uber’s reputation has been declining over the past year partly due to allegations of discrimination and wrongful termination. A former Uber employee’s blog post detailing allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation spurred on a series of similar reports, which led the company to launch an investigation into its corporate culture.
The Former Uber Employee’s Blog Post
A former Uber site reliability engineer posted an essay on her blog titled, Reflecting on One Very, Very Strange Year at Uber. She explained that she left the company because of multiple instances of sexual harassment and retaliation. She alleges that her manager sent her a string of messages over company chat in which he stated that he was in an open relationship and looking for women to proposition for sex. She took screenshots of the messages and reported him to Human Resources.
According to the former Uber employee, both HR and upper management told her that even though the manager’s behavior was sexual harassment, they would issue no punishment other than a warning because it was the man’s first offense and he was a “high performer.” She was then given the option of joining another team within the company or staying under the management of the man who sexually harassed her. She was told by a human resources representative that the manager would likely give her a poor performance review but that the review would not be considered retaliation because she was given the option of joining a different team. Despite her desire to work on the team’s current project and her significant expertise in the field, the former Uber employee felt she had no choice but to join another team within the company.
More Instances of Sexual Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation at Uber
After joining the new team, the former Uber engineer began to meet other women in the company who had similar stories of sexual harassment by superiors and inaction by Uber HR and management. Even after a second report against the same individual was filed, nothing was done to stop his inappropriate behavior. She left the company, but unfortunately that was not the end of complaints regarding Uber’s company culture.
Another former Uber employee filed a complaint on behalf of his female co-workers who sought his intervention after being sexually harassed and discriminated against by their male supervisor. Uber’s HR department allegedly informed him of their intention not to act on the information, by not investigating further, and firing him shortly thereafter. Since then, dozens of Uber employees have come forward describing the company culture as aggressive and sexist.
Investigation into Uber’s Company Culture
The company launched an investigation into these allegations led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Among Holder’s recommendations in his investigative report was the adoption of a zero-tolerance policy for substantiated complaints of discrimination and harassment, the development of guidelines for appropriate workplace relationships, and increased training and transparency.
Cherry Hill Employment Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Represent Victims of Sexual Harassment, Discrimination, and Wrongful Termination
If you are the victim of workplace sexual harassment, discrimination, and/or wrongful termination, schedule a free consultation by calling our Red Bank office at 732-842-6500, our Marlton office at 856-985-9800, our Newark office at 973-878-9040, or by contacting us at 888-396-0736 or online.