Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Technology | By Lionel Gonzales

Uber ends mandatory arbitration for sexual assault cases

Uber ends mandatory arbitration for sexual assault cases

The company will now allow victims to choose the venue in which they wish to address sexual assault allegations, whether that be in open court, mediation or arbitration.

Uber's ride-hailing service will give its U.S. passengers and drivers more leeway to pursue claims of sexual misconduct, its latest attempt to reverse its reputation for brushing aside bad behaviour.

I will tell you that, when this data is actually published as part of the safety transparency report, I think those numbers are going to be disturbing. That would include rides and deliveries, as well such incidents that happen before pick up or after drop off.

In a statement, the ride-hailing company said the last 18 months exposed a "silent epidemic of sexual assault and harassment" that Uber "is not immune to".

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

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Khosrowshahi has launched a campaign to "do the right thing" to fix the damage left by Uber's previous regime and lure back alienated riders who defected to rivals such as Lyft. Ms. Fowler publicly challenged Mr. Khosrowshahi to scrap the forced arbitration agreements on Twitter.

West, a former Justice Department official who joined Uber in November, said its new policy applied to people now in arbitration with Uber over sexual assault of harassment claims.

Uber did not provide details on the number of sexual harassment cases that are pending or have been settled, but when contacted by Reuters it said it will not revisit past cases that have been settled through the confidentiality agreement.

After several high-profile scandals, Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi, who took the top job in August past year, has been unveiling several safety measures to restore Uber's brand and image.

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