In Chicago, a man was charged in five area cases. He picked up four of his five victims by claiming to be an Uber driver.
In India, an UberEats promotion offered a discount on food delivery, suggesting that a customer “let your wife take a day off from the kitchen” and thus presuming that all cooking is done by women and not men. Readers criticized Uber’s promotion as perpetuating gender stereotypes.
In March 2017 remarks, in response to a widely-circulated blog by former Uber employe Susan Fowler about sexual harassment and the company’s refusal to respond to complaints of sexual harassment, Uber Board Member Arianna Huffington denied that sexual harassment at Uber was a “systemic problem”:
Yes, there were some bad apples, unquestionably. But this is not a systemic problem
In sharp contrast, when former Attorney General Eric Holder and colleagues examined misconduct at Uber, their report found 215 complaints of inappropriate workplace conduct, yielding at least 20 firings, 31 retrainings, and 7 final warnings.
A Chicago-area Uber driver was ordered held on $100,000 of bond based on the allegation that he demanded sex from a 19-year-old passenger. The allegations continued: When she refused, the driver repeatedly locked the car’s doors and refused to let her out. She ultimately jumped out of the moving vehicle when it slowed in traffic.
Uber said it removed the driver from its service.
A San Jose passenger recorded an Uber driver’s remarks while driving:
My dream is to have some drunk chick by herself also going home at the end of my shift and she wants me to come in. That would be the perfect ending to my day. … Half the work is already done, man. She’s isolated and she’s drunk. … I will get really drunk too and then I can’t be held responsible.
Uber indicated that it banned the driver from further rides for Uber.
Fortune reports that Uber’s engineering team is just 15.1% women — calling that figure “bad–even by tech industry standards.” (Compare Facebook at 17%, Google at 19%, Apple at 23%, and Airbnb at 26%.)
In February 2017, the New York Times reported misconduct by Uber employees: A manager groped a female co-worker’s breasts at a company retreat, a director shouted a homophobic slur at a subordinate, a manager threatened to beat an underperforming employee with a baseball bat, employees used cocaine at private parties, and an employee hijacked a shuttle bus and took it for a joy ride.
After an unnamed customer reported being raped by an Uber driver in India in December 2014, Uber executive Eric Alexander obtained her medical records and showed them to CEO Travis Kalanick and SVP Emil Michael. As of June 2017, Alexander had left Uber.
In a June 2017 lawsuit, the customer filed a lawsuit against Uber as well as Alexander, Kalanick, and Michael for intrusion into private affairs, public disclosure of private facts, and defamation. In addition to noting the impropriety of Uber managers obtaining and examining her medical records without her consent, she flagged the inconsistency between Uber’s public claims (“We will do everything … to help bring this perpetrator to justice and to support the victim”) and its actual action.
In a meeting about the prevalence of sexism within Uber, board member David Bonderman made a joke about gender stereotypes. He resigned the same day. Details.