Uber will allow individuals to publicly file sex crimes claims

Uber ends forced arbitration agreements of sexual assault claims

Uber's ride-hailing service will give its USA passengers and drivers more leeway to pursue claims of sexual misconduct, its latest attempt to reverse its reputation for brushing aside bad behavior.

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.

Under mounting pressure, Uber will announce Tuesday that it will no longer forbid passengers, drivers and employees from speaking publicly about sexual harassment or assault complaints they bring against the ride-hailing giant. Now individuals will be able to pursue their claims of sexual assault and harassment in any venue they choose: open court, mediation, or arbitration.

An April 2018 CNN search of police and court records in 20 major USA 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. Later that month, Microsoft said it was ending forced arbitration agreements for employees making sexual harassment claims, and expressed support for the bipartisan bill. It isn't clear if the announcement and report are related. West added, "I want to thank (CNN) for the reporting that you've done on this issue". "Once people know we're counting and we're paying attention then what is a vastly unreported crime today will become more reported - and that's a good thing". However, there is a catch - the new policy only applies to individual claims, and not class action lawsuits.

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Police say after dropping off a female passenger at her West Oak Cliff home, Chammout followed the woman inside, hit her over the head and sexually assaulted her.

Following CNN's investigation and the letter, Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from CT, challenged Uber's use of forced arbitration and in a letter to CEO Dara Khosrowshahi "respectfully requested" the company end the practice.

While scandals at Uber's corporate offices have taken center stage, the company has also faced plenty of other well-publicized harassment and assault allegations from members of its ride-hailing platform.

And the company gained a reputation for sexism past year after a viral blog post from a former engineer, according to The Washington Post. "They understand how their reputation will suffer if consumers perceive them as using arbitration to hide bad behavior".

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