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Uber agrees to pay $4.4M to settle sex discrimination charges

By Darryl Coote
Uber agrees to pay $4.4M to settle sex discrimination charges
Under the agreement, rideshare company Uber also agreed to implement a system to identify employees who have been the subject of more than one harassment complaint and managers who fail to respond to those complaints in a timely fashion. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Uber has agreed to create a $4.4 million fund to compensate women who were sexually harassed while employed by the rideshare company, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Wednesday.

As part of the settlement, Uber will also create a system to identify employees who have received more than one harassment complaint and managers who fail to respond to those concerns in a timely manner, the EEOC said in a statement.

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"This resolution demonstrates the benefits of working cooperatively with EEOC and serves as a model for businesses committed to truly leveling the playing field where opportunity is not circumscribed by one's gender," said EEOC Chair Jane Dhillon.

Uber made the agreement to a 2017 charge of sex discrimination that was handed down following an extensive investigation in which the commission found "reasonable cause" to believe Uber permitted "a culture of sexual harassment and retaliation" against women who complained about being harassed, it said.

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"This agreement holds Uber accountable, and, going forward, positions the company to innovate and transform the tech industry by modeling effective measures against sexual harassment and retaliation," said EEOC Commissioner Victoria Lipnic.

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Notices will be sent to all female employees who worked at Uber between Jan. 1, 2014, and June 30, 2019, and potential claimants will be able to submit a response to a questionnaire that will allow the commission to determine whether they are eligible for monetary relief, it said.

News of the settlement comes after the company released a report early this month documenting more than 3,000 sexual assaults and 67 deaths during Uber rides in the United States in 2018.

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In June 2017, the San Francisco-based tech company fired 20 employees over an alleged culture of harassment.

"Employers should take note of Uber's commitment to holding management accountable and identifying repeat offenders so that high-performing, superstar harassers are not allowed to continue their behavior," said EEOC San Francisco District Director William Tamayo. "The tech industry, among others, has often ignored allegations of sexual harassment when an accused harasser is seen as more valuable to the company than the accuser."

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