Whether in small towns with limited public transportation or booming cities with vast networks of buses and taxi cabs, Uber seems to be everywhere. The ride-sharing company shook up much of the transportation industry in New York and elsewhere, but some people claim that the company is not as forward-thinking as it claims to be. After dealing with past workplace controversies, Uber was recently accused of workplace discrimination.
In a lawsuit filed by three women -- two of whom no longer work for the company -- Uber is alleged to have engaged in ongoing discrimination against people of color and women. All three women worked as software engineers, but claim that they were treated much differently than their male counterparts. Unjustified lower performance scores, fewer opportunities for professional advancement and assignments to tasks below their skill level were all apparently normal aspects of their employment.
They claim that these discriminatory practices caused them to lose out on promotions, benefits and earnings. Women -- especially those of color -- were also supposedly denied stock options and bonuses that were made available to male co-workers. The suit alleges that women were also forced to work in an environment that fostered ongoing sexual harassment.
The women behind the suit complained to their state labor force months before filing the suit, and in Aug. 2017 Uber pledged to increase wages for underpaid employees and provide annual raises. While this might be the first step of many to creating a less-toxic working environment for all, it does not address the very real damages that these women claim they suffered. Like New York workers who have experienced workplace discrimination and gone on to seek damages, their lawsuit aims to not only affect work culture, but to also recover just compensation.
Source: Fortune, "Uber Sued For Alleged Racial, Gender Discrimination", Oct. 25, 2017