The Industry

Uber Agrees to Pay $10 Million to Settle a Discrimination Suit

“Female employees and employees of color are systematically undervalued compared to their male and white or Asian American peers,” the lawsuit claims.
“Female employees and employees of color are systematically undervalued compared to their male and white or Asian American peers,” the lawsuit claims.
JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images

Uber agreed to pay $10 million to settle a class-action lawsuit accusing the company of fostering a hostile work environment and discriminating against women and non-Asian people of color, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The ride-sharing company also said it will set up a mentorship-and-skills program for employees from underrepresented groups, inspect its compensation system, and revise its promotion process.

Three women—Ingrid Avendano, Roxana del Toro Lopez, and Ana Medina—brought the suit against Uber in October on behalf of the 420 female and minority software engineers who have worked at the company since 2013. The plaintiffs accused the company of giving these engineers unequal pay, treating them unfairly in performance evaluations, placing them in menial positions, and not promoting them as quickly as others. As the lawsuit reads, “female employees and employees of color are systematically undervalued compared to their male and white or Asian American peers.”

Uber has struggled in the past with hiring a diverse workforce and ensuring that women and minorities are treated equally. Its 2017 diversity report found that about 64 percent of its employees are men, and about 80 percent are white or Asian. That same year, a former engineer at the company, Susan Fowler, wrote a viral blog post accusing the company’s human resources department of brushing off her multiple complaints of discrimination and sexual harassment. A subsequent investigation led to the firing of more than 20 employees. It was one of a series of scandals that led to founder Travis Kalanick to resign as CEO.

The judge for the case, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, will decide whether to approve the settlement in May.