Uber Fires 20 Employees Over Sexual Harassment Claims

Car transportation company Uber is having a rough day as over 20 employees have been fired amid sexual harassment claims. The most popular ridesharing business in the world continues to have a rough year, with what appears to be never-ending scandals.

Bloomberg broke the news today of the firings, after the company announced to its employees what had happened. An Uber insider, who chooses to be anonymous, says Bobbie Wilson of Perkins Coie LLP in Seattle let the company’s 12,000 employees know of their investigation in the matter.

The private law firm isn’t the only one looking into the allegations. A separate probe by none other than former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is being conducted on Uber’s behalf.

There have been an astonishing 215 claims to human resources regarding sexual harassment, which are being investigated by Perkins Coie. No action was taken on 100 of those claims, while 57 others are being more seriously investigated. Bloomberg also reports that 31 employees are undergoing counseling related to the matter, while seven received written warnings. The employees who were fired have not be named.

The investigations began after a now-notorious blog post by a former employee was released in February. Engineer Susan Fowler left Uber in December of 2016 and decided to detail her time at the company several months later for all to hear. Fowler described the misogyny and evident sexism in the company, which several employees also corroborated after the fact.

Homescreen and app logo from Uber[Image by Carl Court/Getty Images]

In just her first week with Uber, Fowler described being approached by a manager for sex. Susan was left in shock as the manager was only given a warning for his actions after she met with human resources. She admits these kinds of situations happened routinely, with no real consequences.

After the blog was released and spread like wildfire, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick ordered an investigation by board member Arianna Huffington and Holder. After several female Uber employees saw the post, they also stepped forward to HR.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick at TechCrunch event
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick [Image by Steve Jennings/Getty Images]

Uber HR Chief Liane Hornsey told USA Today in May that she was shocked by Fowler’s blog. Hornsey didn’t seem to think there was much of an issue with sexual harassment in the company.

“[Fowler’s] blog shocked me. But, what did surprise me, was when I did the listening sessions, this didn’t come up as an issue. It wasn’t one of our big themes. Other things came up that are in that area, that our values are masculine and a little aggressive, but the harassment issue, I just didn’t find that at all.”

Fowler had some words today on Twitter regarding Hornsey the firings announcement.

No matter Hornsey believed at the time, it is more than evident that sexual harassment has run rampant at Uber for some time.

Unfortunately for Uber, controversy is no stranger to the company. CEO Kalanick was caught on a dash camera in February fighting with an Uber driver over lowered prices for the UberBlack services, which have dramatically affected driver’s wages. Kalanick didn’t have a warm response to the driver’s feelings.

“Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own s**t. They blame everything in their life on somebody else.”

Kalanick soon apologized to employees and the driver when the video was leaked.

App users were also furious when it became known that Uber can detect your location at all times, whether you are using the app or not. It was then released that corporate employees were using this to track the location of specific users, namely ex-girlfriends and celebrities. Those employees were terminated, but users are still unsure about these practices.

The sexual harassment investigations are still under way. How do you feel about Uber’s constant involvement in controversy? Let us know in the comments below.

[Featured Image by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images]