Uber is announcing a major policy change on how it handles sexual assault and harassment cases, ending the practice of mandatory arbitration starting today. The ride-hailing giant had forced accusers to mediate their claims in secret. Now those who agree to settlements will not be required to sign confidentiality agreements.
Uber said they will also disclose data on sexual assaults and other incidents to “foster accountability,” but as of now, no time frame has been set to release that report.
“We have no interest in closing down a person’s freedom to voice their experience or force their concerns. So I think one thing that you will certainly see from us is that to the extent you go to arbitration and you want to talk about your experiences or what happened we’re absolutely fine with that,” said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
Khosrowshahi has been leading the effort to change Uber’s company culture after allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying. He took over as CEO after Travis Kalanick resigned last June under pressure from investors.
Uber said they are adding a feature on their app that allows riders to share live information about their trip with up to five trusted contacts, and they are also implementing an emergency button that will communicate the car’s location to 911.