Following a CNN investigation that revealed that at least 103 Uber drivers in the U.S. have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing passengers during the past four years, the ridesharing company has announced that it will no longer force victims of assault into arbitration. Previously, Uber’s terms of services required victims filing claims against drivers to enter arbitration and to sign confidentiality deals as part of settlement agreements pertaining to sexual assault or harassment. On Tuesday, the ridesharing company said that it was ending those policies and that the company would publish a “safety transparency report” to openly share the number of sexual assault reports made against their drivers.
“It’s only by accounting and acknowledging [reports] that we are empowered to take action in reducing the incidents of sexual assault,” Uber’s chief legal officer, Tony West, told CNN in a phone interview. “We want to bring these numbers out in the open. We want people to acknowledge the enormity of the issue, and we want us to begin to think of constructive ways to prevent and end sexual assault.”
The number of sexual assaults that occur through the ridesharing service, West added, is “vastly underreported” and “disturbing.”
Uber’s announcement came just a day before the company was required to respond to a class action lawsuit filed by nine women who said they were assaulted by Uber drivers about whether they would be forced to go through arbitration. The company has now said that the women will be able to bring their individual assault claims to arbitration, mediation, or open court as they so choose.
Last month at the Women in the World Summit in New York City, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi was interviewed by Tina Brown and talked about the company’s “absolutely unacceptable” corporate culture in the past, and some of the measures he’s taking to fix it. Watch the full interview and highlights below.
Read the full story at CNN.