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Uber to pay $4.4M to settle sexual harassment charge

Uber Technologies Inc. on Dec. 18 agreed to pay $4.4 million to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation charge from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The settlement ends "an extensive investigation in which the EEOC found reasonable cause to believe that Uber permitted a culture of sexual harassment and retaliation against individuals who complained about such harassment," the regulator said.

The EEOC said Uber will set up a class fund to compensate anyone who experienced sexual harassment or related retaliation after Jan. 1, 2014. A claims administrator will send a questionnaire to all female employees who worked between Jan. 1, 2014, and June 30, 2019, to determine who is eligible for monetary relief.

Uber will also be required to create a system to identify employees who have been the subject of multiple complaints and to find managers who fail to respond to concerns in a timely manner. It will also update its policies with feedback from a third-party consultant and continue to hold surveys and exit interviews addressing sexual harassment.

The company will be monitored by former EEOC Commissioner Fred Alvarez for three years as part of the agreement.

The ride-hailing app developer disclosed Dec. 6 that 3,045 incidents of sexual assaults were reported in its U.S. trips in 2018, including 235 cases of rape. The number of total incident reports declined 16% year over year but the number of reported rapes increased from 229.