Ridout Barron


20 Uber drivers fired after harassment probe

Popular ride-sharing company Uber has been the subject of scrutiny in the media almost ever since it opened its doors. Now, an increase of complaints against the company by its drivers has prompted an inquest into the company's policies when it comes to dealing with workplace harassment. Calgary residents may be interested to know that the company has taken action, firing some 20 employees in Detroit. 

The details of the probe have not been made public at this time, but it is confirmed that Uber Technologies, Inc. retained an independent law firm to investigate claims made by employees, largely drivers, against lower to middle-management authority figures. Their retention was prompted by a blog post written by a former engineer with Uber who claimed that she was the victim of sexual harassment. She said that beginning on her first day at work, her immediate supervisor began propositioning her with unwanted advances via text messages. 

Following the post, Uber set up a 24-hour hotline for employees to call in and report similar incidents. They retained the law firm to investigate these claims, of which some 215 have been investigated to date. A further 57 are still being investigated. Uber spokespeople have said the hotline will remain open as the investigation progresses. 

Every Canadian, both here in Calgary and elsewhere in the country, is entitled to a safe and secure workplace. Unfortunately, harassment is still widespread and remains a major problem. This is why it can be important for employees enduring harassment to seek legal counsel to determine how best to handle these ongoing issues, with an eye toward eradicating this conduct entirely from Canadian businesses. 

Source: The Toronto Star, "Uber fires more than 20 employees after workplace harassment probe", Tom Krisher, June 6, 2017

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