Uber and its Unethical Practices

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The taxicab company Uber is pursuing women who were sexually assaulted by the Uber drivers to settle their claims and grievances through alternative dispute resolution and not by moving the court. This gives a clear picture of the company’s unethical approach to the assault victims by silencing them and protecting itself from the public eye and controversy.         

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“Uber and its Unethical Practices”

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The unethical practices of Uber related to customer service are an alarming issue. Sexual abuse and violence by the Uber drivers towards women passengers are growing hazard. The company, instead of taking severe steps against such drivers, taking up a sympathetic approach and they are forcing the victims of sexual assault to resolve their issues outside of the court. The attorneys of the company are depending on a legal mechanism, which has already faced immense scrutiny and controversy in the Silicon Valley over the past years. Sexually abused victims are joining in the ?Me Too Movement’, which has created a sensation around the world in different sectors. Lawyers of Uber have put in arbitration clauses in the terms and condition in the company’s dispute resolution policy that prevents customers, especially the victims of sexual harassment to move the court with a strong lawsuit (Harding, Kandlikar & Gulati, 2016).

They are redirected to mitigate matters behind closed doors and go home with meager compensation money. This has been the idea of the company to keep itself away from legal suits that involves a great hassle, huge deal of expense and time investment. This portrays a severe violation of morality and ethics by the companies, instead of giving the victims some sympathy and justice it is trying to hide its face and mend its way by settling the issues behind closed doors. This is an infringement of human rights and the law of natural justice. Several women across the United States have come together to represent the women across the globe has been assaulted or have experience certain sexual assault issues in Uber with an anticipation of influencing the company to reform and reshape its passenger protection policy for providing better service to the passengers, especially to women. However, the company has registered a motion that argues about the terms and conditions that a rider agrees to when signing up for the ride-share service which takes away their right to file a lawsuit against the company (Buckley, 2017). The attorneys of the victim’s demand that their client deserves a trial irrespective of the fact that they have agreed to the implied terms and conditions that comes along with the application. The authorities are of the view that the taxicab company Uber needs to acknowledge the occurrence of the issues and take immediate action. The attorneys are of the view that the company is trying to hide its face so that it does not come up in front of the public eye and lose its goodwill. The lawyers further mention that the company’s policy to pursue the victims to settle the matter through arbitration prevents the common people from knowing about the severity and frequency of rape and sexual assault done by Uber drivers which has become rampant (Levin, 2018).

The implied terms and conditions of the Uber app that comes along with the non-disclosure agreement, forces the victims to remain silent about the abuses that was done to them by Uber employees (Dills & Mulholland, 2018). This makes the company liable for the wrongful act of its employees. However, it denies taking any charge or responsibility of the act; instead it tries to settle the matter behind closed doors. So, things are not blown out of proportion. It is shocking that people are not talking about these horrific incidences, as they are still not aware of the details about the matters as the company is keeping itself away from the news. The people who were abused by the Uber drivers and those who are involved in class action suits against the company want the common people to know about the inefficiency of Uber to recognize its shortcomings towards the protection of the customers. The victims and the activists demand that the company should acknowledge its inefficiency and make better reforms and changes to its structural issue that aids social problems like rape and assault. The customers, especially women are directly harmed by such unethical approaches of Uber (Feeney & companies Uber, 2015).

In addition, the company is not letting these women voice their grievances against the company, and instead forcing them to settle the matter by the way of mediation. This is violating the basic human rights (McIver, 2017). It is learnt that the taxicab company Uber is trying to hide its face behind closed doors and trying to retain its goodwill by settling sexual assault and harassment issues by way of alternative dispute resolution (Freeman & Parmar, 2018). This can be proved by way of several instances that have occurred over a period throughout the United States of America and beyond. Citing one of the cases where an Uber driver from Miami raped one of his customers who were intoxicated at that time. An Uber driver allegedly assaulted another woman in Los Angeles who fell asleep in the car while commuting. A woman from San Francisco reported that an Uber driver pushed her into an apartment and groped her. In all these cases, the victims were led to settle the matter arbitrarily by way of arbitration and offered to meager amount of compensation as consolation (“Seven More Women Join Uber Sexual-Assault Lawsuit”, 2018).

One of the former employees of Uber, Susan Fowler’s viral account of sexual abuse and harassment proves to be a perfect picture of the abusive and male dominated tech industry. This case was an eye-opening example for most corporate houses to remove the forced arbitration agreement at workplace. Ms. Fowler’s version of the sexual harassment by her supervisor was a shame on the company’s reputation that claims to maintain a pleasant workplace environment and high annual turnover (Wakabayashi, 2018). Veena Dubal, a professor and a practicing advocate who has represented some of the alleged Uber drivers and some drivers who had some claims against the company, said that she was unable to move further with the case as the drivers being the employee of Uber were silenced by the company with the aid of settlement agreements (Isaac, 2018).

These examples are clear picture that the company is trying to save its market reputation by suppressing the immoral and unethical issues under the cloak of arbitration. The CEO of the company, Mr. Travis Kalanick stated in response to the alleged unethical approach of the company that they are being intimated about such issues for the first time. He claimed to have employed the Chief of the Human Resource team, Liane Hornsey to investigate the matter and conduct a thorough enquiry relating to such allegations. The victims are now coming out from their shields with the help of ?Me Too Movement’ to share their traumatic experiences. Attorneys are approaching the courts irrespective of the already agreed implied terms and conditions on the grounds of violation of human rights. In addition, women are encouraged to speak up about their sad, traumatic stories and disseminate the message of women empowerment all over the globe.

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Uber And Its Unethical Practices. (2020, Mar 23). Retrieved October 4, 2022 , from
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