Uber to pay USD4.4 million to end federal harassment probe

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Uber Technologies Inc will establish a USD4.4 million fund to settle a federal investigation into allegations that the San Francisco company allowed a rampant culture of sexual harassment, the United States (US) Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced on Wednesday.

The agreement ends an investigation launched in 2017 in which the commission found reasonable cause to believe the ride-hailing tech company “permitted a culture of sexual harassment and retaliation against individuals who complained about such harassment”.

A claims administrator will send notices to women who worked at Uber between January 1, 2014, and June 30, 2019.

The commission will determine which claimants may be eligible for money from the USD4.4 million fund.

The company has also agreed to create a system to identify serial offenders and managers who fail to respond to concerns about sexual harassment in a timely manner.

The commission initiated the investigation after a former Uber engineer wrote a widely circulated blog post exposing sexual harassment at the company, including propositions from her boss.

Susan Fowler said her complaints to human resources were ignored.

The company fired 20 people, including some managers, after an investigation by former US Attorney General Eric Holder’s law firm.

People make their way into the building that houses the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. PHOTO: AP