Ride-hailing leader Uber will create a $4.4-million account to end a federal investigation into charges that the company allowed a widespread culture of sexual harassment, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The agreement, announced in mid-December, ends an inquiry that began in 2017 after the EEOC found that complaints against the company were credible, in which individuals charged Uber permitted an atmosphere of harassment and retaliation against those who complained.
Notices will be sent to former female employees
Now that the agreement is in place, a claims administrator will notify women who worked at Uber from Jan. 1, 2014, to June 30, 2019, that some of them may be eligible to receive money from the sexual harassment fund.
Also, as part of its settlement with the EEOC, Uber agrees to set up a system to identify serial offenders as well as managers who do not respond in a timely manner to those who report sexual harassment.
Former engineer’s complaints led to the probe
The EEOC began its investigation into Uber after a blog by a former engineer exposed sexual harassment at the company. Susan Fowler also wrote about propositions from her supervisor and said her complaints to human resources were disregarded.
The company previously fired 20 employees, including some managers, after an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office. Before the EEOC settlement was announced, Uber revealed that more than 3,000 sexual assaults were reported in 2018, by drivers and riders. That statement came as part of the company’s effort to increase transparency.