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Uber’s Institutional Support of Sexual Harassment

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    Susan J. Fowler, now an engineer at Stripe, wrote about her year at Uber:

    Uber was a pretty good-sized company at that time, and I had pretty standard expectations of how they would handle situations like this. I expected that I would report him to HR, they would handle the situation appropriately, and then life would go on — unfortunately, things played out quite a bit differently. When I reported the situation, I was told by both HR and upper management that even though this was clearly sexual harassment and he was propositioning me, it was this man’s first offense, and that they wouldn’t feel comfortable giving him anything other than a warning and a stern talking-to. Upper management told me that he “was a high performer” (i.e. had stellar performance reviews from his superiors) and they wouldn’t feel comfortable punishing him for what was probably just an innocent mistake on his part.

  2. Ska Senanake


    Here we go
  3. Fucking Dustin

    Please click "like" Supporter

    Colby Searcy likes this.
  4. Fucking Dustin

    Please click "like" Supporter

    Anyway can't wait to hear the results of the CEO's """investigation"""
  5. Yeah, if you read about the massive failings of your HR department .... calling on the head of HR to investigate is absurd.
    mercury, skogsraet and Fucking Dustin like this.
  6. shawnhyphenray


    Of someone "asks" to have sex, how is that sexual harassment? I'm not starting anything but I mean isn't that the way it's supposed to be? Inappropriate, sure. But not sexual harassment unless it was constant or he suddenly was all touchy or whatever. But one email?
  7. sawhney[rusted]2

    I'll write you into all of my songs Supporter

    The dude was texting her staff and telling her about how him and his girlfriend were in an open relationship and then alluding to the fact that he's trying to have sex with coworkers since his girlfriend is having sex with other people and he isn't. How is this appropriate in a business setting (and especially over the company's IT system). No one wants to hear about that from a co-worker, especially when you just started working there.

    And HR lied to each person that reported this guy, saying that it was his "first offense" which was demonstrably false. They said this mostly due to the fact that he was a high performer.
    Jason Tate likes this.
  8. CyberInferno

    Line below my username Supporter

    This is literally the legal definition of sexual harrassment:
    From the U.S. Government Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  9. skogsraet

    Trusted Supporter

    Asking someone to have sex with you in a workplace when you have no rapport with that person is not how it's supposed to work. It's not just "one email" because the person on the receiving end of that email is forced to work with someone who has already sexualized their work relationship. Imagine rejecting your co-worker's sexual advances, then having to work together on a project, or asking them to switch a shift with you or any variety of possible work related interactions. It's all tainted because every interaction will have uncomfortable sexual undertones that will plague both parties throughout their work relationship, and if the rejected party decides to retaliate for that initial rejection, the other party can't prove it to be related to the sexualized nature of the relationship.
  10. skogsraet

    Trusted Supporter

  11. shawnhyphenray


    I specifically said it's not appropriate
  12. elphshelf

    100% made of farts Supporter

    Not sure what needs explained then if you understand you shouldn't be doing this to a coworker, much less a subordinate. There is no "right" way to do it.
    Luroda and Jason Tate like this.
  13. paperlung

    there's no place like my room Supporter

    Glad that this has blown up and Uber has been forced to address this. Hopefully people stop using the service until they get it right. It's a shame that they can claim their diversity numbers are comparable with those of the other tech giants.
    Jason Tate likes this.
  14. Serenity Now

    deliver us from e-mail Supporter

    I have been working in HR for 6 years. Thankfully, I work for a company where nothing close to this type of behavior would be tolerated. I would have pushed for termination of the manager immediately after receiving reports of the texts/chats at work. What's really shocking to me is the company's comments on retaliation. That's just flat out wrong.

    If things truly went down the way she describes, this is an institutional failure by their HR team. I would be surprised if anyone on their staff in this department came from good HR programs or had worthwhile experience before working for UBER.
  15. Serenity Now

    deliver us from e-mail Supporter

    Sexual harassment literally starts with any unwanted advance within the workplace. In the US, an employee should feel entitled to go about their daily business without having to discuss or acknowledge anything sexual while at work.

    It comes in two forms: "Quid Pro Quo" or a "Hostile Work Environment"

    Quid pro quo = "this for that" in latin and usually takes the form of a superior offering professional favors in exchange for sexual favors. This is the easiest form of harassment to prove and prosecute.

    Hostile Work Environment = repeat behaviors (jokes, remarks, advances via text or chat, retaliation in the form of poor performance reviews) that encourage an uncomfortable or otherwise intolerable working conditions for someone. This is harder to prove at times.
    elphshelf likes this.
  16. SuNDaYSTaR Feb 21, 2017
    (Last edited: Feb 21, 2017)

    Regular Prestigious

    Man, even though her history of being sexually harassed at Uber is well documented, that didn't keep the assholes from blaming her for "ruining everything" in the comments.
    Luroda likes this.
  17. Ska Senanake


  18. Ska Senanake


  19. swboyd

    are we still lucky to be here? Prestigious

    I'm glad Lyft is a viable alternative where I live. Uber is a terrible organization from the bottom to the top, and I can't be surprised that an organization that exploits their drivers as much as they do has rampant sexual harassment issues on the corporate side of the company. Uber HR failed her time and time again. Plain and simple.
  20. MexicanGuitars

    Chorus’ Expert on OTIP Track #8 Supporter

    Same. I can't remember the last time I've called an Uber over Lyft when going out downtown. I was already turned off by Uber's abysmal rating from the BBB and the fact that you can't tip drivers, but this just adds a new dimension of shittiness.
    swboyd likes this.
  21. transrebel59


    I switched to Lyft a long time ago but absolutely hate it.
  22. swboyd

    are we still lucky to be here? Prestigious

    Yes! I love the fact that Lyft added an in-app tipping option. I always use to feel like a shithead when taking Uber because I never had cash (or carry it all, really) to tip an especially good driver.
    Fucking Dustin likes this.