Uber arbitration move helps sexual assault victims, but goes only so far

CNET | 5/16/2018 | Dara Kerr
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Uber has become the unlikely leader of transparency when it comes to sexual assault.

Throughout the year, women have accused powerful men -- from Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and Matt Lauer to their bosses and managers -- of sexual assault. The movement has gathered such momentum that it's generated its own hashtags: #MeToo and #TimesUp.

Ride-hailing - Giant - Uber - Middle

And ride-hailing giant Uber got caught in the middle of it.

The startup was outed in February 2017 by former engineer Susan Fowler, who wrote a scathing blog detailing a toxic company that OK'd sexual harassment. Then it was sued by nine women alleging sexual assault by Uber drivers. Earlier this month a CNN report found that more than 100 Uber drivers had reportedly raped, forcibly touched or kidnapped passengers.

Uber - Course - Reversal - Policy - Company

Now Uber is trying to change course. In a major reversal of its policy, the company said Tuesday that it's dropping all arbitration agreements it had with riders, drivers and employees over individual claims of sexual assault or harassment. Uber also ended confidentiality provisions that prevented victims from speaking out.

And Uber promised to release-- for the first time -- data on sexual assaults that happen with its drivers.

Months - Epidemic - Assault - Harassment - Industry

"The last 18 months have exposed a silent epidemic of sexual assault and harassment that haunts every industry and every community," Tony West, Uber's chief legal officer, wrote in a blog post Tuesday. "Uber is not immune to this deeply rooted problem, and we believe that it is up to us to be a big part of the solution."

Uber is not immune to this deeply rooted problem, and we believe that it is up to us to be a big part of the solution.

Tony - West - Uber - Officer

Tony West, Uber's chief legal officer

The move was widely seen as a step, or at least a half-step, in the right direction. The reason for reservation: The company...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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