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Home / Business / Uber will no longer force victims of sexual assault into arbitration

Uber will no longer force victims of sexual assault into arbitration



<img src = "http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/dam/assets/180430170430-about-full-pkg-thumb-780×439.jpg" width = "780" height = "439" alt = "Uber says it is taking steps to reduce the culture of silence about sexual violence on its platform as part of a CNN investigation into sexual assault and abuse by Uber drivers.

The Carpool English: www.germnews.com The airline will no longer force the passengers alleged to have been sexually assaulted or harassed into arbitration.

Instead, Uber will be subjected to sexual assault, including Drivers, drivers and employees allow to choose the place where they want to file their sexual harassment or assault requests, be it arbitration, mediation or open court.

The change comes two weeks after CNN reported the results of its investigation that at least 1

03 Uber drivers in the United States, who have been accused of having sexually assaulted or abused their passengers for the past four years. The drivers were arrested, searched by the police or named in civil suits for the incidents. It was the first time that numbers on this topic were published.

Earlier, after signing up for Uber Service, Uber said that users have agreed to settle all claims on an individual basis through arbitration. The practice, which was challenged in litigation, helped the company keep the issue quiet, according to critics.

"We think it is very, very important to allow survivors of sexual harassment and sexual harassment the control and freedom of action left open to them in this incident," said Tony West, Chief Legal Officer of Uber, to CNN telephone interview. West added, "I would like to thank (CNN) for the coverage you have provided on this topic."

Despite repeated requests, the company still has to agree to an interview with CNN in front of the camera.

West, who joined Uber in October 2017, served as Deputy Prosecutor General during the Obama administration and assisted in the re-admission of the Violence Against Women Act in 2013.

Uber also announced two more political changes related to sexual Attacked.

The Company will no longer require secrecy in settlement agreements in cases of sexual assault or harassment. As with the change in arbitration, this applies to cases that are currently pending and to cases that continue to evolve.

In addition, a "Safety Transparency Report" is published, listing figures on sexual assault and other incidents on its platform. To this end, a common taxonomy will be developed for the classification of reports of sexual harassment and abuses, which should also be made available to other companies. The lack of transparency over the number of incidents committed by drivers has been a source of controversy for victims in litigation claiming that Uber is trying to hide the true scope of the problem from its customers.

"Only through accountability and recognition [reports] are we empowered to take action to reduce the incidence of sexual assault," said West. "We want to make these numbers publicly available, we want people to acknowledge the enormity of the subject, and we want us to think constructively about ways to prevent and stop sexual assault."

Related: CNN Investigation: 103 Uber Drivers Charged for Sexual Abuse or Abuse

There are no data on the number of sexual assaults by Uber drivers or drivers of other passenger companies. CNN's analysis emerged from an in-depth review of police reports, federal court records, and County Court databases for 20 major US cities.

At least 31 drivers have been convicted of crimes ranging from violent attacks and imprisonment to rape, and dozens of criminal and civil suits are pending, CNN said.

Individual reports from around the country reveal a series of crimes of being abducted and raped in cars with electronic locks captured by their drivers. One victim was attacked by a serial rapist who attacked his passenger and eight other women; another was an elderly woman who was beaten and raped; A victim says her driver forced her to drink his urine.

CNN also contacted more than 20 police departments to obtain data on complaints involving Uber drivers and sexual assault. Four police departments – Austin, Boston, Denver, and Los Angeles – tracked crimes involving riders and shared their sexual assault data.

CNN has not received most of these complaints in most cases, as they could not all be verified with event reports. However, the numbers suggest that there could be more cases of sexual coercion than the 103 cases found during the investigation.

  Uber passenger alleges rape speaks

Related: Senator pressure Uber after CNN investigation of driver attacks

West told CNN he expects the number of reports to rise once Uber data on sexual assault and other incidents releases. There is still no public timetable for the publication of the report by Uber.

"I'll tell you that if these figures are published in the Safety Transparency Report, I think they will be worrying," said West. "Once people know that we're counting and we're careful, what's a widely unknown crime today will be more reported – and that's a good thing."

The company says it will rely on hired consultants such as Ebony Tucker of the National Ending Sexual Violence Alliance, Cindy Southworth of the National Domestic Violence Disconnection Network, and Tina Tchen, founder of the New York Times Up Legal Defense Fund.

The news came one day before a court-imposed deadline for Uber to respond to a class action lawsuit filed by law firm Wigdor LLC for nine women accusing drivers of sexual abuse.

Uber must formally decide by Wednesday whether the women in the proposed class action lawsuit must file their assertions in a forced arbitration.

The lawsuit was originally filed in November 2017, but gained publicity in recent weeks after the women wrote a letter to Uber's board detailing their allegations and asking the company to: to lift its arbitration clause.

According to CNN and the letter, Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, "respectfully" petitioned Uber's compulsion decision in a letter to CEO Dara Khosrowshahi that the company end the practice.

Beyond Uber made an effort to reduce the use of compulsory arbitration by employers.

Susan Fowler, the former Uber engineer whose blog post Uber has used to target sexual harassment within company employees, fights the most in California at work. In April, she joined the Californian legislators to introduce a bill that would ban forced arbitration.

"As bold and far-reaching as this announcement and decision is, and as unique as it is, it will not give it to anyone," said West, noting that the arbitration change did not affect harassment and assault. "Most importantly, individual survivors can tell their individual stories."

– CNN's Nelli Black, Curt Devine, Drew Griffin, Majlie de Puy Kamp, Collette Richards and Whitney Clegg contributed to the coverage.

CNNMoney (New York) First published May 15, 2018: 6:00 AM ET


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