Uber strikes out confidentiality deal for s3xual assault victims

Uber is making a major change

There's now no way to "reliably or accurately" compare Uber's safety to other forms of transportation, Chief Legal Officer Tony West said in the blog post announcing the move, and sexual assault is a "vastly underreported crime".

Lyft's ride-hailing service is following market leader Uber's example and dropping a requirement that kept a lid on allegations of sexual misconduct made by its passengers and drivers.

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. Forced arbitration agreements have been criticized because they allow companies to silence victims by making them settle disputes out of public courts.

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Critics have been pressuring the company to change the practice, the Times said. The hearings involved are confidential.

"We commit to publishing a safety transparency report that will include data on sexual assaults and other incidents that occur on the Uber platform", Uber wrote on its blog.

The policy change comes after a recent CNN investigation focusing on the assaut and abuse accusations against drivers.

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Uber's Chief Legal Officer, Tony West, told CNN in a statement: "We think it is very, very important to allow survivors of sexual assault and sexual harassment the control and agency that was, frankly, stripped from them in that incident".

And the company gained a reputation for sexism a year ago after a viral blog post from a former engineer, according to The Washington Post.

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