Uber CEO Will Launch Investigation Into Ex-Employee's Claims of Sexual Harassment in Company's Workplace
Feb 21, 2017 09:51 AM EST
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is set to conduct an internal investigation following a former employee’s blog post on the sexual harassment and gender bias she experienced when she worked with the company. Kalanick has sent a memo across the company about the ongoing inquiry and will be carrying an out all-hands meeting for his employees to look into the situation on Tuesday.
Former Uber engineer Susan Fowler made the sexual harassment allegations on Sunday in her post titled “Reflecting On One Very, Very Strange Year at Uber.” Fowler spent a year working for the California-based taxi-hailing company.
The ex-Uber employee’s claims on sexual harassment were based on the incident when her manager propositioned her and other Uber employees for sex. The said manager, who was in an open relationship with his own girlfriend, had been sending Fowler a series of messages through the company’s chat.
Consequently, the Stanford computer science graduate reported the incident and was told by Uber’s HR and upper management that she did experience sexual harassment. However, the manager in question will not be punished because it was his first offense; he was also noted to be a “high performer” in the company. "It became obvious that both HR and management had been lying about this being 'his first offense,' and it certainly wasn't his last,” Fowler wrote about HR overlooking some of her complaints.
According to Business Insider, gender inequality was also demonstrated in the Uber workplace when the company procured leather jackets for more than 120 male employees but not even one for six women. In addition, Fowler’s manager threatened to put her out of Uber employment for reporting situations to HR.
“I told him that was illegal, and he replied that he had been a manager for a long time, he knew what was illegal, and threatening to fire me for reporting things to HR was not illegal,” Fowler added. Merely hours of the Uber sexual harassment post being published, Kalanick took to Twitter and issued a statement, describing the former employee’s experiences as "abhorrent & against everything we believe in."