Tony West, the Chief Legal Officer at Uber, has announced a set of policy measures that the company will adopt regarding sexual assault and harassment. Uber will end its previous policy of mandatory arbitration in cases where victims choose to seek settlement with the company.
He wrote in a blog post that Uber is committed to the safety of the riders and it has taken steps in this respect. The company is also working to add an emergency option in the app, which would instantly send the car’s location to a 911 center. At the same time, riders would be able to share live travel information with five personal contacts.
The company’s previous policy will no longer be valid; it required victims to not disclose their harassment experiences had they decided to settle claims with Uber. Riders can now disclose their experiences at their own free will, even if they decide to arbitrate. West explained that the problem with sexual harassment is that it has always been silenced and Uber is committed to do the right thing. With the provision removed, riders can choose to do whatever they feel is right.
Furthermore, Uber will also not require mandatory arbitration to settle individual claims against sexual assault. Individuals will be free to choose whichever means they want to use to settle their claims, whether it be mediation, arbitration, or court. He also clarified that arbitration should not be confused with settlement and that all cases are decided according to their merits.
Lastly, Uber will take on a new initiative to ensure transparency; it will set a new norm by publishing a safety transparency report, which will provide statistics on all the sexual assault and similar incidents. He elaborated that the report would be the first of its kind, since there is no comparable data provided by alternative means of transportation – such as taxis, buses, subways, trains or flights.
In March 2018, new Uber CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, took on the initiative to ensure transparency, integrity and accountability.
Benefits of having a quotable wife: ““I was, like, he’s the C.E.O. of Expedia, he’s going to be this arrogant, egocentric, just . . . douche,” – still working to prove her wrong :-). #notallCEOsaredouches https://t.co/L0umaFAAtJ
— dara khosrowshahi (@dkhos) March 30, 2018