Uber ends mandatory arbitration for sexual assault, harassment claims

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The company is ending the controversial practice of forced arbitration for all of its employees, riders, and drivers, reports CNBC. And the firm said it will begin publishing a "safety transparency report" on sexual assaults and other incidents that occur on its platform.

Additionally, if someone is unfortunately subjected to sexual harassment or assault, no matter how they seek to adjudicate that claim (whether arbitration, mediation, or traditional litigation in a public court) Uber won't force them to agree to stay quiet about their experience. Hearings have the trappings of a court hearing-arbitrators are often retired judges-except that they are wholly private.

Starting immediately, customers with assault claims against Uber drivers will no longer be forced to pursue their cases through arbitration.

CNN reported in April that at least 103 Uber drivers in the USA have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing passengers in the last four years.

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Uber announced two other policy changes Tuesday.

Uber says it's putting safety at the core of everything it does.

Victims of sexual assault or harassment will now have the option to settle claims with the ride-hailing service without a confidentiality provision that prevents them from speaking about the incident, the company said.

"We think the numbers are going to be disturbing", said Tony West, a former government prosecutor during the Obama administration who became Uber's chief legal officer after Khosrowshahi took over. Not long after he took the job late previous year, he wrote his own blog post in which he proclaimed: "We do the right thing".

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Police say after dropping off a female passenger at her West Oak Cliff home, Chammout followed the woman inside, hit her over the head and sexually assaulted her. She joined California lawmakers in April to introduce a state bill that would ban forced arbitration.

Uber has been dealing with a series of recent scandals.

"As bold and far reaching as this announcement and decision is, and as unique as it is, it won't give everything to everybody", West said, noting that the arbitration change around harassment and assault don't apply in class action suits.

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