Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Industry | By Johnnie Johnson

Uber Shifts How it Handles Sex Assault Cases

Uber Shifts How it Handles Sex Assault Cases

Uber said the women will now have the choice of bringing their individual assault claims to arbitration, meditation or open court. He was hired last August amid a wave of revelations and allegations about rampant sexual harassment in Uber's workforce, a cover-up of a massive data breach, dirty tricks and stolen trade secrets.

Previously, upon signing up for Uber's service, Uber says users agreed to resolve any claims on an individual basis through arbitration. That revelation kicked off 2017's annus horribilis, a year during which Uber saw itself bouncing from one crisis to the next.

Uber said it is working toward "maintaining the public's trust, and earning back the respect of customers we've lost through our past actions and behavior", adding that changing the company "is about more than new products and policies".

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The changes governing sexual misconduct come a month after Uber announced it will do criminal background checks on its USA drivers annually and add a 911 button for summoning help in emergencies.

CNN did not include most of these complaints in its tally of cases because they could not all be verified with incident reports. It didn't say how often it would publish that report.

West told CNN he expects the number of reports to go up once Uber releases data on sexual assaults and other incidents. "Once people know we're counting and we're paying attention then what is a vastly unreported crime today will become more reported - and that's a good thing".

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In November 2017, two women in California filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that Uber's "woefully inadequate background checks" had created a platform that exposed thousands of female passengers to "rape, sexual assault, physical violence, and gender-motivated harassment".

Prior to the announcement, Uber's terms of service required all allegations of this nature against drivers to be arbitrated outside of court. "We need to end the practice of forced arbitration", she wrote on April 12, "a legal loophole companies use to cover up their illegal treatment of employees".

And the company gained a reputation for sexism previous year after a viral blog post from a former engineer, according to The Washington Post.

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- CNN's Nelli Black, Curt Devine, Drew Griffin, Majlie de Puy Kamp, Collette Richards and Whitney Clegg contributed reporting.

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