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Following a companywide investigation into claims of sexual harassment, Uber has fired 20 employees.
The Independent reports that Uber has fired 20 employees following a company-wide sexual harassment investigation. The ride-sharing service also hired two new executives tasked with setting a new company strategy and rethinking branding. The investigation was led by law firm Perkins Coie LLP which reviewed as many as 215 complaints filed to human resources by employees. While no action has been taken in 100 instances, 57 are still currently being reviewed by the law firm.
The firm shared details of their findings with a subcommittee of Uber’s directors, but further details relating to the reports are not expected to be released until next week at the earliest. Evan Rawley, a professor at Columbia University’s business school, commented on the investigations saying, “They’re showing that they’re going to take some concrete steps to address the matter. This issue is going to keep being at the forefront until the investigation is completed.”
Some of the people fired following the investigation were senior executives according to sources within Uber. 31 employees are currently in counseling following the investigation while seven others received written warnings from the company relating to their behavior. Amit Singhal, Uber’s new head of software engineering, was asked to leave Uber in February following the discovery of a sexual harassment claim at Singhal’s former employer Google, a claim which Singhal has denied.
This investigation follows the publishing of a blog post by former Uber engineer Susan Fowler who claimed that she was sexually harassed while working at the company, witnessed “political games” and received “threats” from her manager after reporting incidents that she had observed. “On my first official day rotating on the team, my new manager sent me a string of messages over company chat.” wrote Fowler in her post. “He was in an open relationship, he said, and his girlfriend was having an easy time finding new partners but he wasn’t. He was trying to stay out of trouble at work, he said, but he couldn’t help getting in trouble, because he was looking for women to have sex with. It was clear that he was trying to get me to have sex with him, and it was so clearly out of line that I immediately took screenshots of these chat messages and reported him to HR.”
At the time, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick stated, “It’s the first time this has come to my attention so I have instructed Liane Hornsey our new chief human resources officer to conduct an urgent investigation into these allegations. We seek to make Uber a just workplace FOR EVERYONE and there can be absolutely no place for this kind of behavior at Uber ― and anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired.” Based on the results of the latest investigation, it seems that Kalanick was true to his word.