A major rideshare company with many Florida drivers an passengers is creating a fund to compensate female employees who suffered from sexual harassment or retaliation. Uber agreed to pay over $4 million to female staff after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found that the company allowed a culture that permitted sexual harassment and retaliation to continue. The claims against Uber were brought by in-house employees rather than female drivers, who are mostly characterized as independent contractors. According to the EEOC, the fund will be used to compensate people found by the EEOC to have suffered harassment or retaliation during or after 2014.
An EEOC lawyer said that she hoped the agreement would further empower women in the tech industry to protest sex discrimination or sexual harassment at work. In addition, Uber also agreed to create a system to track harassment complaints. It would identify employees who had received more than one complaint about their behavior as well as managers who seemed to drag their feet in responding to the issues. A former EEOC commissioner will monitor Uber’s activities on these issues for three years, while the company will work with a third-party consultant to update its internal policies to address harassment and discrimination.
The EEOC initiated the charges against Uber in 2017 after widespread reports surfaced of frequent complaints by female employees about harassment and discrimination. Uber said in a statement that it reached the agreement with the agency out of court an that the company was committed to acting in the interests of accountability and fairness for all employees.
Tech companies and other popular industries continue to give rise to a number of incidents of workplace discrimination as well as sexual harassment. Workers who have been mistreated on the job may wish to consult an employment attorney.