Monday, May 22, 2017

Former Uber Employee Says He Was Fired for Reporting Harassment - VANITY FAIR

Originally published: May 19, 2017

In February, a former Uber engineer named Susan Fowler published an essay on her blog, detailing allegations of sexual harassment and sexism at Uber. Fowler alleged that Uber’s human-resources team systematically had ignored her multiple reports of sexism and sexual harassment during the year she worked for the company. She had been propositioned for sex, she wrote, and when she tried to report the manager who did it, she said she was told Uber wouldn’t take action against him because the company didn’t want to ruin the career of a “high performer.” Fowler’s manager allegedly later threatened to fire her if she tried to report his boss again. (“I have just read Susan Fowler's blog,” Uber C.E.O. Travis Kalanick said in response to the blog post. “What she describes is abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in. It's the first time this has come to my attention so I have instructed Liane Hornsey our new Chief Human Resources Officer to conduct an urgent investigation into these allegations. We seek to make Uber a just workplace and there can be absolutely no place for this kind of behavior at Uber — and anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired.”)

Now, according to public filings reported by investigative news outlet Reveal News, another former Uber employee has come forward with allegations about Uber’s company culture. The unnamed former Uber employee says he was fired in 2016, after he went to Uber’s human-resources department to report the harassment his female colleagues said they were facing. The employee filed a complaint with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which, according to Reveal News, says his female co-workers “sought his intervention regarding alleged sex-based discrimination and harassment they were suffering at the hands of a male supervisor.” After they approached him for help in 2015, he allegedly went to human resources with their stories. “We get a lot of phone calls from employees that we don’t always act on,” someone in Uber’s human-resources department allegedly told him, and didn’t investigate further. Shortly thereafter, in March 2016, the employee was fired, the complaint says. (Uber did not respond to a request for comment.)