Uber Figures Out How to Maybe, Kinda, Sorta Act Like Human Beings Toward to Sexual Assault Survivors
Uber’s sexist policies within their company, as well as their bad habit of hiring drivers that have a tendency to sexually assault their customers have long been public knowledge. To be honest, I don’t know why people still continue to use them, but here we are. In order to “do better” (or at least give that impression), Uber is now changing policies it should never have had in the first place. Yay?
As reported by The Two-Way on NPR, the company will no longer force customers into private arbitration, instead allowing them to take their complaints to court. Uber, like many other companies (read the fine print, y’all), had “a clause in its user agreement — and its employment contract — that requires a person to waive his or her constitutional right to take Uber to court. Instead, disputes are taken before a private third-party arbitrator, who is paid by the company.”
But no more, says Uber. They are getting rid of that policy for customers and employees alike.
They’re also saying goodbye to NDAs, and won’t force sexual assault survivors to sign them, which would make them unable to speak publicly about their experiences.
“[I]t’s clear that sexual violence remains a huge problem globally,” Uber’s chief legal officer, Tony West, said in a statement. “Uber is not immune to this deeply rooted problem, and we believe that it is up to us to be a big part of the solution.”
They also pledge to work with women’s groups and organizations that specialize in sexual violence to figure out how best to publicly release data about sexual assaults that are connected to Uber rides and make it open-source, so others can use it.
For a company with Uber’s history, I’ll believe it when I see it. Still, I can’t argue that these are bad changes, and whether they’re genuine in intent or merely a PR move, the fact is that I’m glad they’re happening. Hopefully, more companies will follow suit before there are problems.
And that’s the thing. While it’s easy to pick on individual companies like Uber for having policies like this, the truth is that they’re just doing what all companies do. It’s just that other companies haven’t been under the spotlight in the same way. Yet.
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