“This agreement will hopefully empower women in technology to speak up against sexism in the workplace knowing that their voices can yield meaningful change,” Ami Sanghvi, a trial lawyer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission who consulted on the investigation, said in a statement.
Uber’s workplace culture first became an issue in February 2017 when a former engineer, Susan Fowler, detailed how her complaints about sexual harassment at the company were brushed aside because the man who had harassed her was considered a high performer. Ms. Fowler now works as an editor at The New York Times.
“The tech industry, among others, has often ignored allegations of sexual harassment when an accused harasser is seen as more valuable to the company than the accuser,” said William Tamayo, the San Francisco district director of the employment commission.
In the aftermath, Mr. Kalanick faced scrutiny for putting growth ahead of how Uber’s employees were treated. Uber was also found to have engaged in other dubious tactics to protect its business, including using data collected from its app and other techniques to identify and sidestep law enforcement, a scheme known as “Greyball.”
As part of the settlement announced on Wednesday, Uber employees who worked at the company after January 2014 will be eligible to submit claims to the commission.
Uber said it would also develop tools to help it respond proactively to harassment accusations. The company said it would begin identifying employees who have been the subject of more than one harassment complaint, and identify managers who don’t respond quickly when their employees raise complaints of harassment.
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