Los Angeles, CA (Law Firm Newswire) August 4, 2017 – Uber, a ride hailing company based in San Francisco, California, has fired 20 employees after an investigation into over 200 sexual harassment cases. While the identities of those terminated have not been released, reports indicate that some of those fired included senior executives.
The investigation was spurred after former Uber engineer Susan Fowler alleged she was sexually harassed, and human resources failed to respond to her complaints. International law firm Perkins Coie LLP investigated the company in the wake of Fowler’s allegations, which led to the discovery of more than 200 sexual harassment and misconduct cases in the company.
Fowler alleged her manager propositioned her for sex when she joined the company, and described in a blog post several sexist incidents in the company. One incident involved a director explaining the low number of women working at the company, saying “the women of Uber just need to step up and be better engineers.” Another discrimination incident occurred when her organization decided to order leather jackets for everyone, but failed to offer any to women because there were “not enough women to justify placing the order.”
After Fowler announced her claims, Uber created a hotline for employees to report incidents of sexual harassment, discrimination or other employment misconduct. Perkins Coie investigated 215 of the reports, which revealed that over 100 cases of reported misconduct had been ignored by the company. Acting on the law firm’s recommendation, human resources fired over 20 employees.
Additionally, Uber organized a meeting with its 12,000 employees to discuss the investigation’s findings. As a result, over 40 additional employees were reprimanded or referred to counseling or training.
Uber has been the subject of negative attention regarding its workplace culture, as several other incidents of issues with discrimination and internal leadership have arisen in the company over the past few years. This story is especially significant in the context of the Silicon Valley’s reputation for attracting male tech talent, but not female, and the tech industry’s failure to close the gender gap.
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