Uber Sexual Assault Victims No Longer Forced Into Arbitration

Uber Sexual Assault Victims No Longer Forced Into Arbitration

Uber Sexual Assault Victims No Longer Forced Into Arbitration

Uber's ride-hailing service will give its US passengers and drivers more leeway to pursue claims of sexual misconduct, its latest attempt to shed its reputation for brushing aside bad behavior. West and Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi took over late previous year and have attempted to turn the company around.

Uber will no longer make its drivers, customers and employees go through forced arbitration when they lodge sexual assault or harassment claims against the ride-hailing service, the company announced Tuesday.

"They're saying this case and these claims belong in private arbitration because on the app and embedded deep in the terms of services is a requirement for people to agree to private arbitration", she said. "However, the company decided in these personal and hard set of claims the company wanted to give survivors the choice to seek redress in the venue of their choice, whether that's mediation, arbitration, or open court".

Uber's Chief Legal Officer Tony West wrote that the company "will no longer require mandatory arbitration for individual claims of sexual assault or sexual harassment by Uber riders, drivers or employees". "Whether to find closure, seek treatment, or become advocates for change themselves, survivors will be in control of whether to share their stories". Nothing in Uber's previous policy prevented its riders and drivers from asking police to open criminal investigations into their accusations. In order to "do better" (or at least give that impression), Uber is now changing policies it should never have had in the first place. Yay?

Lyft announced its new stance Tuesday, a few hours after Uber announced the same shift as part of its efforts to turn over a new leaf after a wave of revelations and allegations about its bad behavior. This move comes two weeks after CNN published a report that found at least 103 Uber drivers in the US have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing their passengers in the last four years.

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For a company with Uber's history, I'll believe it when I see it. Those alleging assault who wish to be part of a class action suit are still bound by the arbitration clause.

Jeanne Christensen, the Wigdor lawyer working on the class-action suit, told Reuters the move was "one step toward making a change", but that "just bringing the issue into the open doesn't solve the problem".

But no more, says Uber.

Uber also plans to publish a safety transparency report, including data on sexual assaults and other incidents that happen on the stand. Uber has yet to bring out the details of exactly what this report will entail including what time period it will cover, but it is supposed to include the number of sexual assault complaints the company has established.

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