Texas residents may be aware that some of the nation's largest and most innovative technology companies have been accused of treating female and minority workers unfairly. Uber's co-founder and CEO was ousted in June 2017 after a former engineer wrote about how she had been harassed and discriminated against during her time with the company, and media outlets reported on July 16 that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has launched an investigation into the employment practices of the ride-sharing giant.
Uber took steps to repair its image and address sexual harassment and discrimination in the wake of the engineer's revelations, but recent events suggest that more can be done. The San Francisco-based company's head of human resources resigned in early July after an internal investigation questioned her handling of allegations of racial discrimination, and Uber's newly appointed CEO has also been criticized. He was primarily brought in to address these issues, but the man he chose to be the company's chief operating officer was forced to make a public apology after it emerged that he had made disparaging and demeaning comments about women and minorities.
The EEOC has not confirmed that it is investigating Uber, and simply being investigated does not mean that an employer has acted improperly. However, a string of high-profile resignations and a mounting number of discrimination lawsuits do not paint a flattering picture of Uber's corporate culture. Uber responded to news of the investigation by issuing a statement. The company says that it has overhauled its pay structure and performance review procedures and initiated diversity efforts to improve fairness and workplace morale.
Workers who endure discrimination and harassment are often reluctant to step forward due to fears of retaliation or because they are worried that they will not be believed. Attorneys with employment law experience could explain that employers can face severe penalties for retaliating against workers who pursue legal remedies.
Source: CNN, "Uber is under a federal investigation for gender discrimination", Sara Ashley O'Brien, July 16, 2018