Uber to end forced arbitration for victims of sexual assault, harassment

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Not to be outdone, Lyft announced Tuesday it would also scrap its rules binding passengers and drivers to private arbitration and confidential settlements in cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct.

And the company gained a reputation for sexism past year after a viral blog post from a former engineer, according to The Washington Post. Lawsuits against the ride-sharing tech giant allege that Uber seeks to hide the size of the problem by not being transparent per CNN, but West claims that policy will end shortly.

"So moving forward, survivors will be free to choose to resolve their individual claims in the venue they prefer: in a mediation where they can choose confidentiality; in arbitration, where they can choose to maintain their privacy while pursuing their case; or in open court".

Following CNN's investigation and the letter, Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from CT, challenged Uber's use of forced arbitration and in a letter to CEO Dara Khosrowshahi "respectfully requested" the company end the practice.

The company says the change is an attempt to bring "transparency, integrity, and accountability" to the way it handles workplace complaints. The company is also adding a 911 button so riders can call for help in emergencies.

A day after Fowler's report went public, Uber hired Eric Holder, a former USA attorney general under president Barack Obama, to investigate allegations of sexual harassment.

Since taking over from Kalanick, new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has tried to right the ship.

While scandals at Uber's corporate offices have taken center stage, the company has also faced plenty of other well-publicized harassment and assault allegations from members of its ride-hailing platform.

But she said in a written statement Tuesday that Uber continues to fight against class-action status for the 14 women she represents, showing it is "not fully committed to meaningful change" because victims are more likely to pursue claims as part of a group. Internal data viewed by BuzzFeed in 2016 showed thousands of customer-support tickets with the phrases "sexual assault" or "rape" from December 2012 to August 2015. "What's most important is for individual survivors to be able to tell their individual stories".

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