Uber, like many other companies (read the fine print, y'all), had "a clause in its user agreement - and its employment contract - that requires a person to waive his or her constitutional right to take Uber to court. Whatever they decide, they will be free to tell their story wherever and however they see fit".
Shortly after Uber's announcement, Lyft announced the same changes. "This policy extends to passengers, drivers and Lyft employees". Jeanne M. Christensen, a partner at Wigdor LLP, the firm representing 14 women who allege they were raped or sexually assaulted by Uber drivers, called the move a "critical first step", but noted that the company will still bar victims from bringing class-action lawsuits against it.
Uber announced Tuesday that its new policies would include the publishing of "a safety transparency report that will include data on sexual assaults and other incidents that occur on the Uber platform".
Uber announced May 15 that it's dropping its contractual insistence on arbitration for allegations of sexual misconduct.
"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. Uber argued that the women will have to bring other claims in the suit, including unfair business practices, to an arbitrator. Uber is shifting its stance after receiving an open letter from the NY law firm Wigdor LLP, which already has filed a lawsuit seeking to be certified as a class action representing women who allege they have been raped, sexually harassed or abused in other ways by Uber drivers. However, it has since confirmed that it will not only publish a report, but work together with Uber on that report. This could be anywhere from arbitration to mediation or an open court setting. "This is the beginning of a longer process needed to meaningfully improve safety".
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Uber says it has met with more than 80 women's groups and recruited several prominent advocates as advisers on these issues.
As part of its investigation, CNN also contacted more than 20 police departments to obtain data on complaints that involved Uber and Lyft drivers and sexual assault.
Susan Fowler, the previous Uber engineer whose post drove Uber to deal with unwanted sexual advances within the business's business labor force, is combating on the office problem more broadly in California. Uber faced a reckoning of its own a year ago after former software engineer Susan Fowler wrote a poignant blog post documenting harassment she faced there.