Uber stops forcing sex assault, harassment victims into arbitration

Uber, acknowledging that “sexual violence remains a huge problem globally,” will no longer require sexual assault and harassment victims to go through arbitration, the ride-hailing company said Tuesday.

The new policy is one of a number of changes made by new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who also is tightening driver screenings and enhancing its app so customers can have more trusted contacts able to follow each trip and a new emergency button that automatically dials 911.

“The last 18 months have exposed a silent epidemic of sexual assault and harassment that haunts every industry and every community,” the company said in a statement. “Uber is not immune to this deeply rooted problem, and we believe that it is up to us to be a big part of the solution.”

The company now will let sexual assault and harassment victims chose mediation, arbitration or open court.

In addition, survivors will have the option to settle their claims with Uber without a confidentiality provision that prevents them from speaking about the facts of the sexual assault or sexual harassment they suffered.

Other changes include a “safety transparency report” that includes sex assault and harassment data.