Uber fires more than 20 amid sexual harassment probe

Uber said it has fired more than 20 people after a company investigation into harassment claims.

Much of the latter stemmed from a blog post published by former Uber employee Susan Fowler, who described being sexually harassed by a senior manager only to be told by the company's HR department that he was a "high performer" and should be left alone.

Uber Technologies Inc. has fired 20 employees following an investigation by a law firm into sexual harassment and other claims at the ride-hailing company, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The move comes after a probe commissioned by the group through law firm Perkins Coie, which looked into 215 claims of harassment. News of the terminations was first reported by Bloomberg. Holder was expected to complete his probe and present his recommendations to Uber's board of directors this week.

A lawyer for Fowler did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Widely shared, the blog prompted Mr Kalanick to launch an investigation.

Travis Kalanick, the Uber CEO, publicly disavowed the bad behavior at the firm and pledged to hire an outside firm to conduct an internal review of Uber's workplace culture and the harassment complaints.

A further 57 investigations are ongoing, according to an Uber spokesman. Those cases were referred to Perkins Coie to further investigate and resolve, leading to the firings outlined in Tuesday's staff meeting.

Bobbie Wilson, a partner at the worldwide law firm, said the firings included both managers and lower-level workers, some of whom retaliated against employees after they complained about bad conduct. Employees were told at an all-hands meeting at Uber's San Francisco headquarters about the terminations.

Uber has also been accused of having a bloated and inexperienced management structure leading up to a culture of misogyny and mismanagement - 3,000 of its 12,000 employees are in management positions and many have had no prior management experience. Then in the two weeks following, two more female Uber engineers came out with similar stories of sexism and harassment. The firm had investigated 215 human resources-related problems within the company. The company created a hotline where workers could make complaints.

Uber is also embroiled in a trade-theft lawsuit with Waymo, the Google self-driving vehicle spin-off, which has accused Uber of using stolen technology.

  • Zachary Reyes