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Verdicts & Settlements

Uber Whistleblower Supports $10 Million Settlement

— September 10, 2018

The former Uber engineer whose blog post and allegations of discrimination caused the company CEO to step down said she supports a $10 million settlement for pay equity and harassment claims.

Filed on behalf of nearly 500 employees, the agreement was tentatively reached in April.

Susan Fowler, whose 2017 blog post led to internal chaos within the rideshare service’s corporate ranks, said in a court filing Friday that the settlement will compensate victims of “illegal conduct.” The agreement also dictates the creation of a monitoring program, ‘to ensure there is follow-through concerning Uber’s commitment to a new direction.”

“Fowler hopes for the best for Uber’s talented and committed workforce, particularly the women and persons of color who continue to work at Uber and make it a better place,” said Fowler’s lawyer in a federal filing.

Fowler’s revelations led to the resignation of former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. Image via Wikimedia Commons/Flickr/Heisenberg Media. (CCA-BY-2.0)

According to Bloomberg, Fowler was named a 2017 “Person of the Year” for her role in standing up to perceived injustices within Uber’s corporate structure.

Fowler, along with Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, announced impending changes to the company’s arbitration system. In the past, female riders were put through mandatory arbitration after complaining of assault by drivers.

In May, writes, Uber began permitting women to file sexual assault and harassment claims in court.

Bloomberg quotes attorney Jahan Sagafi as saying that Fowler’s support is ‘consistent’ with feedback his firm has received about “the substantial payments and strong policy changes made possible by the settlement.’

The settlement will provide an average of $11,000 for nearly 500 women and minority workers who claim to have suffered pay disparity. An additional $34,000, on average, will be disbursed to 56 women who claimed harassment.

Individual payouts are capped at $100,00. Bloomberg notes that any payouts made to victims of ‘emotional distress’ may also be subject to income tax.

Nevertheless, attorneys who’ve observed the case and its outcome say it’s “very encouraging” that, as part of the settlement, Uber has committed to “at least start tor change its business environment.”

Together with court-ordered monitoring, the ride-share application has also promised to issue regular diversity reports for the next three years and hire consultants to revamp the company’s job classification and compensation schemes.

“This is an excellent result for class members,” Sagafi said in April, shortly after the award was first announced.

Uber’s since maintained that the settlement “fairly addressed the concerns that were raised.”

The settlement amount will be finalized in November, provided it passes muster in a hearing slated for the 6th.


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