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Society of Women Engineers

Uber Agrees to Settle Discrimination Lawsuit

The lawsuit alleged Uber paid women and people of color less money, hired them for lower-level jobs, and promoted them more slowly due to bias in their performance evaluations. 

Published On: March 2018

Uber has reportedly agreed to settle a class action discrimination lawsuit for $10 million. It was originally filed by software engineers Roxana del Toro and Ana Medina last October who alleged gender and racial bias at the ride-services company. The class action now represents 420 engineers who are women and people of color. Toro and Medina alleged that Uber paid them less money, hired them for lower-level jobs, and promoted them more slowly due to bias in their performance evaluations. The suit came after Susan Fowler published a blog about her negative experience as a woman engineer at Uber.

According to a filing in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, under the agreement, Uber will institute reforms to its system for compensation, reviews, and promotions. The settlement will reportedly compensate 285 women and 135 men of color for financial and emotional harm.

Uber has also agreed to give regular reports about diversity initiatives within the company. In the filing, Uber says twice a year executives will participate in a review of its diversity numbers and efforts to increase the representation of women and people of color. A judge will still have to approve the terms of the settlement.

The lawsuit claimed that Uber’s employee ranking system was not based on reliable performance data and favored men as well as white and Asian employees. According to the Harvard Business Review, gender bias corrupts performance reviews.

Uber’s own diversity report released last year showed women and people of color were significantly underrepresented in its workforce, just as they are in most tech companies.

Uber’s new chief diversity officer, Bo Young Lee, was hired earlier this year by Uber’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. Last summer, Uber also raised salaries to help close the gender pay gap.

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