back to article Uber forks out $4.4m to settle claims of rampant sexual harassment and retaliation in the Travis Kalanick era

Uber has agreed to pay $4.4m to settle claims it allowed employees to be sexually harassed and then allowed retaliation against them when they came forward. In a deal struck with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) this week, the ride broker has agreed to put the money into a fund that will be used by the …

  1. David 45

    Sticky stuff

    Mud still sticks to the company.

  2. beep54
    Devil

    Die, Uber

    This along with what is happening in Germany which is trying to get Uber to pay $250,000/ride could actually do it. An actual decent company could rise out of the ashes.

    1. Big O

      Re: Die, Uber

      That's German for 'The Uber'.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Die, Uber

        No it's not. Think about it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Die, Uber

          It's a Simpsons reference, from when Sideshow Bob tried to kill Bart.

          AC because I feel bad having to explain the joke.

  3. sbt Silver badge
    WTF?

    Seems a pittance.

    Is there any word on how many claimants for this extremely modest pie? Over a 5 year period at a toxic workplace like that, I'd expect there's a good many.

    Settlement's one thing. What about the individual perps? Any reason to think they'll not just move on and harass elsewhere?

    Is this another case where settlement is more cover-up than justice?

    1. Lazlo Woodbine Bronze badge

      Re: Seems a pittance.

      From the article...

      "Uber has agreed to not only pay up the money, but also establish what was described as "a system for identifying employees who have been the subject of more than one harassment complaint and for identifying managers who fail to respond to concerns of sexual harassment in a timely manner."

      1. sbt Silver badge
        Meh

        A system for identifying...

        OK, but that's internal. Do we expect the Uber culture to have improved significantly enough that it will make a difference?

      2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Yes, and FaceBook has agreed to improve its handling of its user's privacy.

        Many times.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Insecure hitchhiking

    And you pay for the "pleasure"

    Avoid.

  5. Whitter
    Unhappy

    What's the differernce

    between 'paying to settle' and 'blood money'?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Nobody died.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Traditionally weregild - the most direct antecedent of "blood money" in English culture - could be assessed for serious crimes against a person even if they didn't result in death. Though it was still usually paid to the victim's lord.

        Really the difference in this case is that the funds are supposed to be in compensation for lost wages as well as for injury. But the underlying legal principle is the same.

  6. David Roberts

    Wonder

    How much of the total payout went to the lawyers?

  7. Rich 2 Silver badge

    Money money money

    It’s great how money solves all problems isn’t it?

    What about locking up the perpetrators instead?

    1. Killfalcon Silver badge

      Re: Money money money

      Can't we do both? Lock up the crime-doers, compensate their victims, and just to be sure kick out the execs who built a corporate culture rife with criminality and make the company take a hit to the wallet for not fixing it sooner.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Money money money

        We can do both; there could be a criminal case, or series of them, independently of the settlement with the EEOC. But criminal cases are much more expensive to prosecute and have a higher standard of proof. And evidence of harassment is often difficult to obtain (in part because physical evidence is often scarce), and such cases can be controversial with jurors.

        The unfortunate truth is that harassers generally do get away with it. Fines like this are a way to convert some of that bad action from an externality for their employers to a direct cost, which gives employers an incentive to discourage it. At the moment, that's often the best feasible result.

  8. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    $4.4 million

    Given that Uber lost about $1.3 billion during its last reported quarter, $4.4 million is about the amount of VC cash it burned every eight hours.

  9. davenewman

    The appropriate penalty is a forced sex change operation.

    1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Um, no

      So the punishment of a male groper is to have a sex change operation? Because the worst possible punishment is to have the outer appearance of a woman?

      I am trying to think if there is any level or circumstance where this comment would be OK.

      Nope, can't think of one.

  10. MrMerrymaker

    Harassement all round

    Passengers get harassed AND the "employees"?

    What a toxic company. Hope it gets shut down SOON.

    A few local firms have borrowed the general idea of Uber - book via app, anywhere! - and they're licensed and stick to their geographic area. But without the moral baggage of giving to an evil company.

    Support local businesses - Uber can get fscked

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Harassement all round

      Yeah. I'm not a fan of book-via-app; I only use taxis while traveling, and I don't want to be installing apps from random companies everywhere I go. (I don't really want to install apps, full stop.) But I'd like to be able to book taxis over the web when I need one.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020