Former Uber Engineer Sues Company For Sexual Harassment, Bias

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A former Uber software engineer is suing the company for sexual harassment, racial discrimination and pay inequity, reported BBC.


The lawsuit

Ingrid Avendaño worked for Uber from February 2014 to June 2017. She claims to have experienced sexual harassment, pay inequity and racial discrimination while working there. Avendaño filed her lawsuit on May 21 in California Superior Court. This comes a week after Uber changed its policy concerning sexual assault issues. The new policy introduced last week overhauls the way Uber addresses US sexual harassment and assault claims.

News site Recode had first reported Avendano's claims. In the lawsuit she claims, that during her whole time at Uber, she experienced a male-dominated work culture, discrimination, and sexually harassing behaviour towards women. She mentioned how a male engineer repeatedly made unwelcome, demeaning comments about women in front of her. The management took no action when she reported the man, Avendano said.

The management fired the man only after further complaints. The man's firing led to Avendano's isolation as she was ignored by many male Uber managers and other employees.

According to Avendaño's complaint, Uber wasn't taking the concerns widely mentioned in Susan Fowler's blog post seriously enough. Fowler's post in February 2017 opened a can of worms on Uber. Avendaño, who is Latina, also made claims of pay inequity in her lawsuit. She said that female and non-Caucasian engineers were paid less and promoted less than white male counterparts

Avendaño claims that the emotional and physical stress led to her hospitalisation. She resigned soon after. The woman now seeks compensation for lost wages and benefits, and for damages related to emotional distress.


Uber's policy change

In its new company policies announced last week, Uber said it will no longer require confidentiality clauses in settlements or force individuals to resolve sexual harassment disputes through negotiation. The changes came after complaints about how the firm had handled sexual assault claims and screened drivers.

The new policy means that individual victims alleging sexual assault in the US will be able to choose where to pursue those claims, including in open court.

In February 2017, Susan Fowler, a former site reliability engineer (SRE), wrote a blog post about her experience at Uber. She mentioned of her ordeal of sexual harassment. Fowler also reflected on details concerning gender inequality and pay disparity.

Also: Dara Khosrowshahi: Uber’s New CEO

More stories by Bhawana

Bhawana is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv

Sexual harassment discrimination uber inequality racial. discrimination