Uber's new sexual harassment report asks readers to match stories about inappropriate behaviour with its new categories of misconduct and assault

  • Uber detailed 21 new categories of sexual misconduct and assault it is going to adopt in its reporting.
  • The report outlining the categories contains a “mix-and-match” exercise in which readers match creepy stories of misconduct and assault to the company’s new categories.
  • Uber has come under fire in the past for it attitude toward sexual misconduct and assault.

Uber released a document on Monday laying out how it is going to categorise reports of sexual misconduct and assault in readiness for a 2019 transparency report.

The report, which it calls a “taxonomy” of sexual misconduct and assault, was released in partnership with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) and the Urban Institute.

Included in the 53-page document is a “mix and match exercise” designed to show how reports of inappropriate behaviour might be filtered into these new categories.

Stories from the perspective of riders and drivers are given to be matched with one of the 21 new categories. The stories themselves are fictional, but are “informed by the authors’ experience reviewing actual reports.” In other words, they’re rooted in real-life cases.

Here is the Uber exercise in full:

Uber reportNational Sexual Violence Resource Center/Urban Institute/Uber

A Medium article, penned by Uber’s Chief Legal Officer Tony West and NSVRC executive Kristen Houser, explained why Uber believes these categories are necessary for combatting sexual misconduct and assault.

“Clear categories lead to counting consistently, which allows companies to respond more effectively to each report of sexual misconduct,” it said.

Uber has previously been criticised for its approach to sexual misconduct and assault.

Fourteen women who claim to have been sexually assaulted by Uber drivers are currently suing the company, and in April demanded that Uber release them from private arbitration, which they said was silencing them. Uber got rid of forced arbitration for sexual misconduct in May.

Prior to having its licence revoked and then temporarily restored in London, Uber argued it was under no obligation to report allegations of rider or driver sexual harassment, violence, or other crimes to the police, but changed this policy in February.

Furthermore, the ride-hailing company received 47 complaints of sexual harassment as part of its investigation into inappropriate workplace incidents last year.


Read more:
Uber court document reveals the scale of sexual assault and dangerous driving allegations against its drivers

West told Bloomberg that releasing the report was not an easy decision to make as the company’s top lawyer. “The chief legal officer is usually the guy that is minimising risk, not courting it, but I feel very strongly that this was the right decision,” he said.

Tina Tchen, cofounder of the Time’s Up Legal Defence Fund and an adviser to Uber, also told Bloomberg that Uber is expecting to see an increase in reporting because it is tracking misconduct and assault more carefully.

“Reports are going to rise because right now this is vastly under-reported… You will see more people reporting. That counter-intuitively will be a good sign,” she said.

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