Uber Rocked With Explosive Harassment Claims

A blog post by a recently departed Uber software engineer went viral over the last few days, forcing the company to take a serious look at its human resources and diversity issues.

Susan Fowler, who worked for the ride-sharing company for about a year before departing for another tech job, claimed she was sexually harassed by a manager almost immediately after she was hired. After reporting him to human resources, Fowler was told he wouldn’t be fired because it was his first offense and he was a star performer.

A few months later Fowler confirmed with two other employees the same manager had made inappropriate comments to them as well. HR still wouldn’t fire the offending manager, even after confronted with this evidence.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has reacted strongly to these allegations. Accompanied by Uber board member Arianna Huffington, he spoke to employees for over an hour at the company’s San Francisco headquarters, apologizing for a lack of diversity in the company’s workforce and for the failings of its HR department. Employees in attendance peppered Kalanick with pointed questions according to anonymous reports.

This isn’t the first time Uber has faced controversy. It opposes many rights for its drivers, preferring to classify them as independent contractors rather than employees. It took heat for picking up riders during a New York City taxi strike that protested President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban as well.

Ultimately, Uber’s ability to attract the best staff matters. If the company continues to be embroiled in controversy, it could fall behind main rival Lyft.