Uber Technologies Inc. has been in the eye of the storm over sexual harassment at technology companies in California. After investigating complaints that began arising in 2017, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that it fined Uber $4.4 million. Investigators determined that the company had allowed a workplace culture that inflicted sexual harassment on female employees and retaliated against workers who complained.
The company has agreed to pay the fine and observe other conditions of the settlement. Uber plans to look for employees who have been accused by co-workers of sexual harassment multiple times. Managers who fail to respond to complaints could also be subject to discipline. The money collected by the EEOC’s fine will be divided among people who worked at the company after Jan. 1, 2014, and were the targets of sexual harassment or retaliation.
An EEOC commissioner said that the settlement agreement would give Uber a chance to reform itself into a tech company that takes sexual harassment seriously. The EEOC will monitor Uber’s progress towards its improvement goals over the next three years. A statement from Uber’s chief legal officer expressed the company’s commitment to protecting employees from sexual harassment.
An employee at any organization who files a complaint about sexual harassment relies on the employer to follow the law, investigate the matter and correct the problem. Unfortunately, reactions at workplaces can range from indifference to hostility. Seeking out legal advice may prepare a person to understand their rights and gather thorough evidence of mistreatment. An attorney might communicate the complaint to the employer on behalf of the person or file a complaint directly with the EEOC. The person may ask the attorney to attend any negotiation or arbitration that results from the complaint.