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15 May 2018, 10:10 | Kelvin Horton
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Tony West now Uber's chief legal officer back in 2014 when he worked in the Justice Department under Eric Holder
"We have learned it's important to give sexual assault and harassment survivors control of how they pursue their claims", Uber said.
Uber has agreed to change their terms of service which previously required Uber passengers that were sexually assaulted by Uber drivers to enter arbitration, CNN reports.
Uber also said it plans to release a report as early as next year on the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault on the platform - a move that follows a class-action lawsuit in California that alleges the $72 billion company has failed to protect passengers from sexual predators.
The San Francisco company is also scrapping a policy requiring all settlements of sexual misconduct to be kept confidential, giving victims the choice of whether they want to make their experience public.
In March this year, Uber came under fire after records revealed that the company had tried to force the women to resort to individual arbitration.
An April 2018 CNN search of police and court records in 20 major United States cities found that 103 Uber drivers had been accused of sexual assault over the previous four years; 31 drivers had been convicted and dozens of others faced criminal and civil cases at the time.
"Divulging the details of what happened in a sexual assault or harassment should be up to the survivor, not us", Uber said. The practice, which has been challenged in lawsuits, helped the company keep the issue quiet, according to critics. And racial and gender discrimination complaints will be resolved in private. One victim was attacked by a serial rapist who assaulted his passenger and 8 other women; another was an elderly woman who was beaten and raped; one victim says her driver forced her to drink his urine. It didn't say how often it would publish that report.
Last month, Susan Fowler, the former Uber engineer who authored a 2017 viral blog post about sexual harassment she endured while working there, penned an op-ed for the New York Times on how to terminate such behavior. "They understand how their reputation will suffer if consumers perceive them as using arbitration to hide bad behavior".
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