Uber will end arbitration for victims of sexual violence in ride

Posted May 16, 2018

Uber will now allow these victims to choose where and how they want to pursue restitution and justice whether that's through arbitration, mediation or open court, modifying what was previously written in its terms of service.

In April, CNN reported an investigation that found that 103 Uber drivers faced accusations of sexual assault or abuse, though there is no publicly available data shared by the company.

"Divulging the details of what happened in a sexual assault or harassment should be up to the survivor, not us", West said.

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In fact, Uber's new policy might not help her clients: The changes apply only to individuals. "We need to end the practice of forced arbitration, a legal loophole companies use to cover up their illegal treatment of employees". "This will not be the last issue Uber has to clean up to show it is dealing with all issues so that customers will trust the brand". Giving victims of sexual assault or perceived sexual harassment more options sends an important message that Uber is taking the issue more seriously, said Kristen Houser, a spokeswoman for Raliance, a coalition of groups working with Uber to prevent sexual abuse on its service.

MWW PR chair reputation management and chief strategy officer Careen Winters says that Uber's new direction should remind communicators that doing the right thing is always a good move.

But as the company announced its reforms to adjudicating its claims process, New York-based attorney Jeanne Christensen, of the law firm Wigdor LLP, said she was unimpressed. "It is not something we will be able to solve on our own."On Tuesday, following Uber's announcement, Lyft said it would work with Uber to release comparable data". And in the midst of the #MeToo movement, advocates have singled out these stipulations as tools used to stifle women's stories of sexual harassment and assault.

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In addition, it will release a "security openness report" that will put numbers behind sexual assaults and other events that happen on its platform. Uber is shifting its stance after receiving an open letter from the NY law firm Wigdor LLP, which already has filed a lawsuit seeking to be certified as a class action representing women who allege they have been raped, sexually harassed or abused in other ways by Uber drivers.

Lyft's ride-hailing service is following market leader Uber's example and dropping a requirement that kept a lid on allegations of sexual misconduct made by its passengers and drivers. "This policy extends to passengers, drivers and Lyft employees", said Lyft spokesperson Alexandra LaManna in a statement on Tuesday. The changes governing sexual misconduct come a month after Uber announced it will do criminal background checks on its US drivers annually and add a 911 button for summoning help in emergencies.

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