BUSINESS

Uber Fires 20 After Harassment Probe

06/06/2017 11:26 PM IST | Updated 07/06/2017 12:33 AM IST
Tyrone Siu / Reuters
Uber drivers' cars are parked outside the Ministry of Transportation building during a protest in Taipei, Taiwan February 26, 2017. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Reuters Staff / Reuters
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick apologized to staff in February after a former engineer said she was sexually harassed at the company and HR did nothing to help her.

Uber has fired 20 employees as part of a larger inquiry into harassment claims, the company confirmed to HuffPost.

The firings came after an independent law firm completed an investigation into 215 human resources claims, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. Of the 215 claims, 100 resulted in no action; 31 required employees to receive additional training; seven prompted written warnings; and 57 are still being investigated.

Uber announced the firings at an all-hands on Tuesday, according to The New York Times.

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is leading a separate investigation into sexual harassment and discrimination claims at company. Uber board member Arianna Huffington, the former editor-in-chief of HuffPost, is helping oversee Holder’s probe. That investigation has concluded, but has yet to be publicly addressed.

In February, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler detailed her experiences at the company in a revealing blog post, describing what she says was a nightmarish, sexist work environment.

Fowler wrote that her superior propositioned her for sex. When she reported the incident to Uber HR, Fowler says her claims were dismissed and she was instructed to either find another team to work for or accept negative performance reviews in the future.

The post prompted Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to call for an internal investigation.

On Monday, Uber human resources chief Liane Hornsey told USA Today the greatest sources of internal dissatisfaction at the company are pay and pride, not sexual harassment.

“[Fowler’s] blog shocked me,” Hornsey said. “But, what did surprise me, was when I did the listening sessions, this didn’t come up as an issue. It wasn’t one of our big themes. Other things came up that are in that area, that our values are masculine and a little aggressive, but the harassment issue, I just didn’t find that at all.”

Fowler criticized Hornsey’s findings on Twitter as “more of the same old gaslighting from Uber HR.” The former Uber engineer also used Tuesday’s firings to cast doubt on the company’s ability to scrutinize itself.

Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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