In a recent blog post, Uber Technologies Inc. Chief Legal Officer Tony West laid out a series of reforms the company will undertake to address the problem of sexual misconduct, including that it will no longer require mandatory arbitration for individual claims of sexual assault or sexual harassment that are made by Uber's riders, drivers, or employees.
Prof. Hannah Brenner, who specializes on issues surrounding gender-based violence, told Law 360 that Uber's move "is a great win for consumers" since the confidentiality that surrounds arbitration proceedings often keeps such cases under wraps and out of the public eye, but also said it's "unfortunate" the policy didn't extend to class actions.
"From the broader social perspective where we know there is a widespread problem with sexual violence, [there] is an importance in being able to expose these problems and allow victims to have their day in court, so to speak," Brenner said. "I wish we would live in a world where we didn't have enough people to form the basis [for a class action], but I know that's the reality. It's unfortunate that that's been taken away as a possible tool because it can be a powerful one."
In addition to highlighting the company's new position on arbitration, West's blog post also outlined other reforms Uber has undertaken, including strengthening its driver screenings and installing an "emergency button" in the app that can alert police to a vehicle's location.
Read the full article by Vin Gurrieri here: https://www.law360.com/articles/1043804/uber-s-move-away-from-arbitration-falls-short-attys-say