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Uber ends forced arbitration for sex assault, harassment claims
15 May 2018, 10:10 | Kelvin Horton
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has made company culture a priority
"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".
Amber Alert issued for 7 year old girl
When the relatives returned to the girl's home, they found the 11-year-old girl with multiple stab wounds and the kitchen on fire. An Amber Alert says Ahmad may be driving a black Lexus RX300 SUV with paper tags, a 2011 Ford Escape or a navy blue Ford sedan.