From a public relations standpoint, 2017 has not been a banner year for Uber; a recent piece in The Atlantic may have summed it up best: “[a] lot of people seem to hate Uber.” Uber’s tumultuous year began when Susan Fowler brought allegations to light concerning her horrendous treatment while working as an engineer at Uber. Shortly after Ms. Fowler’s accusations came to light, the New York Times published a shocking report on Uber’s workplace culture, several investors came forward expressing similar concerns, Google sued the company for IP theft, one of Uber’s executives resigned over undisclosed sexual-harassment allegations at a previous employer, and Uber’s CEO offered a mea culpa after being caught on tape yelling at an Uber driver.
Furthering a disastrous year for Uber, the DOJ launched a criminal investigation into Uber’s practice of using secret software to evade authorities in localities where its service was banned or restricted. Shockingly, the DOJ investigation may not even crack the top two secret software revelations Uber has this year; the New York Times reported that Uber was caught tagging users’ iPhones and The Information shed light on Uber’s “Top Secret ‘Hell’ Program.”
Uber has fired 20 employees in recent months as part of its sexual harassment probe. Debra Katz, a prominent D.C. employment lawyer, expressed the seriousness of such an action, “[t]his is enormous. For corporate allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct to lead to firing 20 people, I know of no comparable corporate action. It’s unprecedented. This is a significant action by Uber to give a strong message to take these actions seriously.”
What do you think? Are You Concerned About Uber’s Workplace Culture?
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