Uber to pay $10 million over claims it paid women, minority engineers less

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Uber will pay $10 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed the troubled ride-hailing firm discriminated against hundreds of female and minority engineers.

The lawsuit, filed by two Latina software engineers on behalf of 420 workers, alleges that Uber paid women and minorities in certain jobs less than white or Asian men for equal work, hired them at lower-level positions than appropriate, promoted them more slowly and gave them “systematically biased” performance reviews.

The San Francisco company also “allowed a hostile work environment for female software engineers and software engineers of color” in certain positions, a situation “condoned and even encouraged
by the highest levels of executive leadership,” according to the suit.

For Uber, the pending settlement adds another blow to the series of hard knocks the company has taken in recent years, from the high-profile sexual harassment allegations by former engineer Susan Fowler, to ex-CEO Travis Kalanick’s videotaped blow-up with an Uber driver, to the $245 million settlement it agreed to pay rival Waymo over a trade-secrets-theft lawsuit, to the March 18 death of a pedestrian in Arizona by an Uber self-driving car.

Uber agreed to the proposed $10 million settlement, according to reports Wednesday.

“This settlement involves claims dating back to July 2013 and, while we are continually improving as a company, we have proactively made a lot of changes since then,” Uber said in a statement, according to Cnet.

“In the past year alone we have implemented a new salary and equity structure based on the market, overhauled our performance review process, published our first Diversity & Inclusion report and created and delivered diversity and leadership trainings to thousands of employees globally.”

Under the terms of the proposed settlement, “Uber has agreed to a series of reforms that change or enhance its systems for compensation, reviews, and promotions and build on diversity, fair pay, training, investigations, and other personnel process initiatives and enhancements it implemented during calendar year 2017 and the first quarter of 2018,” according to records from U.S. District Court in Oakland.

The settlement proposal arose from the lawsuit by the two female engineers, Roxana del Toro Lopez and Ana Medina, plus another legal action by former Uber software engineer Ingrid Avendaño, who alleged gender and race discrimination against the company’s software engineers.

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