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Lawsuit accuses Uber of discriminatory work practices

The California-based ride-sharing company Uber has been accused of gender and race-based workplace discrimination in a lawsuit. The litigation was filed by three Latina software engineers in San Francisco on Oct. 24. Reports indicate that the three engineers brought their concerns to the attention of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency before seeking civil remedies.

The workplace discrimination lawsuit accuses Uber of using an employee ranking system that treats women and people of color unfairly and favors male, white and Asian employees. The plaintiffs say that the lower performance scores they received led to them missing out on promotions, raises, bonuses and stock options. They also claim that Uber routinely assigns more menial tasks to women, Native Americans and people of color. According to reports, only one of the engineers behind the lawsuit is still employed by Uber. The other two resigned in the summer after spending two years with the company.

An Uber representative declined to comment when asked about the allegations leveled in the lawsuit, but the litigation is the latest in a series of setbacks for the ride-sharing company. Uber responded to criticism of its compensation policies in August by announcing an across-the-board 2.5 percent pay raise and increasing the salaries of some of its lower-paid workers.

Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination based on gender, race, religion or national origin. When these rules are violated, employers may face civil lawsuits and a public backlash, and these consequences could be even more severe if retaliatory action is taken against those who file complaints. When workers accuse their employers of discriminatory practices, attorneys with experience in this area may urge the companies involved to settle quickly to avoid the spectacle of a public trial and the media attention that it could attract.

Source: Fortune, "Uber Sued For Alleged Racial, Gender Discrimination", Reuters, Oct. 25, 2017

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