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Lawsuits & Litigation

Uber Contractor’s Gender Discrimination Suit Given Green Light

— February 2, 2018

A former Uber contractor’s gender discrimination suit against the ride-sharing company is being allowed to move forward by a San Francisco judge.

Ilana Diamond sued Uber Technologies, Inc., in October, claiming she was passed up for a full-time spot as the acting photo brand manager. Even though Diamond’s responsibilities as a contractor were synonymous with those of her preferred role, the job was assigned to a less-experienced man.

Curious and wanting to know what wrong, Diamond claims a supervisor said she wasn’t “Uber-y” enough.

Uber has faced numerous controversies since its inception. In recent years, it’s supposed hostility toward female employees and minorities has been at the forefront of coverage. Image via Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain image.

The confrontation, writes the Bloomberg Quint, purportedly took place at a ‘happy-hour event.’ Asking what wasn’t ‘Uber-y’ enough about her compared to the man ultimately given the job, her supervisor blurted out, “He’s a dude.”

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn issued a ruling Friday, denying Uber’s move to limit the ‘potential damage award to Diamond’s lost wages.’ According to Kahn, the case might yield evidence of malice or oppression, justifying any stake Diamond may claim for punitive damages.

The October incident and subsequent suit is only the latest legal play against Uber.

For the past several years, the Silicon Valley tech company has been accused of a litany of abuses against women.

Drivers who escaped background checks and went on to assault female passengers; supervisors and c-level staff who seemingly made a conscious effort to keep offices dominated by men.

Among the most high-profile suits alleging gender discrimination is that spearheaded by Ingrid Avendano, Roxana del Toro Lopez, and Ana Medina, brought against the company in October of 2017. The three self-described ‘Latina software engineers’’ suit came on the heels of a now-infamous blog post, which purported to detail Uber’s culture of wanton, unabated sexual harassment and disenfranchisement of female talent.

The trio of engineers claims that Uber’s compensation practices and other policies effectively discriminate against both women and people of color.

They accuse Uber of relying on an “employee ranking system” which, claims the suit, is “not based on valid and reliable performance measures” and disproportionately favors men as well as white and Asian workers.

‘Women, Latino, American Indian and African American employees are given lower performance scores, making it more difficult or them to advance professionally and confining them to more menial tasks,’ summarizes the suit as saying.

“In this system, female employees and employees of color are systematically undervalued compared to their male and white or Asian American peers,” says the suit.


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