Ride-sharing giant Uber is paying for a company culture that repeatedly tolerated sexual harassment. A verdict earlier this month resolves charges brought against the company in 2017 that forces Uber to pay victims from a $4.4 million fund.
During the investigation, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found that Uber tolerated sexual harassment and that management retaliated against victims who spoke out against the inappropriate treatment. The EEOC will determine who Uber will pay damages too.
Sexual harassment: tolerated for too long
For years, female employees at Uber suffered from unwanted sexual advances and comments. Unfortunately, the company repeatedly ignored allegations of harassment, especially when the accuser held a lower position at the company than the accused. This allowed numerous cases to be swept under the rug and ignored.
Women who spoke out against the harassment were often retaliated against. One female employee was told that she would receive a negative performance review unless she stepped down from her team.
Is Uber changing for the better?
This verdict shows a serious push for change. Female employees at Uber will finally start to see justice for the harassment they suffered from January 2014 through June 2019. Twenty employees were fired after an internal investigation into the claims of sexual harassment and retaliation. And in the wake of initial accusations, Uber’s previous CEO Travis Kalanic stepped down from his position.
Uber is also taking steps to identify employees who were accused of harassment, as well as any managers who failed to take action in the face of allegations.
Going forward, female employees hope to see positive cultural changes within Uber, including atmosphere of respect and accountability for those who mistreat their colleagues.
There is never an excuse for sexual harassment. Managers and others in positions of power must be held responsible for their actions and expected to treat everyone with respect.