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Uber ends arbitration requirement for sex misconduct claims

16 May 2018

"We have learned it's important to give sexual assault and harassment survivors control of how they pursue their claims", West said in the statement.

Previously, upon signing up for Uber or Lyft services, users had to agree to resolve claims on an individual basis through arbitration.

Indeed, Tuesday's change seems tied to a larger, concerted campaign by Dara Khosrowshahi to at least superficially reform the historically troubled company. This move comes two weeks after CNN published a report that found at least 103 Uber drivers in the USA have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing their passengers in the last four years. Several of those drivers have been convicted, and multiple cases are pending.

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Jeanne M. Christensen, the partner at Wigdor handling the case, said in a statement, "Congratulations to Uber for choosing not to silence survivors". 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. The policy change will affect riders, drivers and employees, the company says.

During a phone interview with CNN ahead of the Uber announcement on Tuesday, Uber's chief legal officer Tony West said "to be most effective we need everyone in the industry to really follow suit here, for us all to lock arms in this fight against sexual assault". The company plans to publish a safety transparency report that will include data on sexual assaults and other incidents that occur on the Uber platform. The absence of openness about the variety of events committed by motorists has actually been a sticking point by victims in suits, which declare Uber aims to hide the true scope of the issue from its consumers.

"When I reported the situation, I was told by both HR and upper management that even though this was clearly sexual harassment and he was propositioning me, it was this man's first offense, and that they wouldn't feel comfortable giving him anything other than a warning and a stern talking-to, "she said". 4 cops departments- Austin, Boston, Denver and Los Angeles- tracked criminal activities including rideshare motorists and shared their information on sexual assault problems.

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Assault and harassment cases are now exempt from that requirement.

The news came one day ahead of a court-mandated due date for Uber to react in a proposed class action suit submitted by law practice Wigdor LLP on behalf of 9 females implicating motorists of sexual assault.

The court had given Uber until Wednesday to say whether it would require the women to submit their claims to arbitration.

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An Uber investigation at the time resulted in the firing of about 20 people, and former Attorney General Eric Holder said the male-dominated company didn't have basic policies to protect against harassment.

Uber ends arbitration requirement for sex misconduct claims