Uber agrees to pay $10 million in class action discrimination suit | Fair Pay for Women & People of Color in Tech

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Uber agrees to pay $10 million in class action discrimination suit

Mar 27, 2018 / Media Coverage / USATODAY — Elizabeth Weise

Uber has agreed to pay $10 million to settle a class action discrimination suit brought against it by 420 female and minority software engineers who alleged that men and white or Asian employees were favored at the company.

The suit, filed in October, involves claims going back to 2013.

Uber has been under increasing pressure for both its workplace culture and history of playing fast and loose with regulatory rules. Former CEO Travis Kalanick was forced out last year and new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi took over last August in response.

The discrimination suit was filed by three Latina software engineers, Ingrid Avendano, Roxana del Toro Lopez and Ana Medina, who alleged that female engineers and engineers of color were paid less, hired for lower-level jobs, promoting more slowly, and subject to bias in their performance evaluations. 

Uber's issues with sexism became public when former Uber engineer Susan Fowler posted a widely-read piece about the sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation she faced during her time there.

In June of last year, the company fired 20 employees after more than 200 claims of sexual harassment, bullying and other workplace violations surfaced in the wake of Fowler's account of pervasive sexism at the ride-hailing company.

Uber  pointed to changes it's made since 2013 when the claims begin.

In the past year, Uber said, it has implemented a new salary and equity structure based on the market, overhauled its performance review process, published its first diversity and inclusion report and created and delivered diversity and leadership trainings to thousands of employees worldwide.

A hearing is set in the court of U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland on May 1 to approve the proposed settlement order.

If the settlement is agreed to, the $10 million will be disbursed based partly on weeks worked, geography, and job title, and partly in a claims process that allows people to describe their experiences at the company.

A neutral entity will score the claim forms to allocate the money fairly, said the plaintiff’s lawyer Jahan Sagafi of Outten & Golden, which filed the suit.

Uber's first ever diversity report, published last March, showed that it was much like the rest of Silicon Valley, with women, African-Americans and Hispanics poorly represented among Uber's top leadership and technical positions.

Of Uber technical jobs, only 15% were held by women. Black employees held 1%, and Hispanics, 2.1%.  Its leadership was 78% male.

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