Former Uber Employee Alleges Company Ignored Sexual Harassment

By Anjulie Van Sickle
The Dallas Morning News

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) On Monday, Uber’s chief executive ordered an investigation into the allegations that Susan Fowler Riggetti, a former site reliability engineer for the company who says her job was threatened as a result of her sexual harassment allegations regarding another employee.

The Dallas Morning News

Uber is drawing unwanted attention again after a former employee published allegations of sexual harassment that she says the company’s human resources personnel repeatedly ignored.

Susan Fowler Riggetti, a former site reliability engineer for the company, wrote a blog post that also detailed her experiences with managers who she says threatened her job as a result of her allegations.

On Monday, Uber’s chief executive ordered an investigation into the allegations.

“What’s described here is abhorrent & against everything we believe in,” CEO Travis Kalanick said on Twitter. “Anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired.”

Riggetti alleges her problems with a manager began her very first day as an engineer.

“It was clear he was trying to get me to have sex with him, and it was so clearly out of line that I immediately took screenshots of these chat messages and reported him to HR,” Riggetti wrote.

Riggetti said that she expected the company to take action against the manager but that instead she was told because it was his “first offense” and he “was such a high performer” he wouldn’t be punished.

Riggetti said that after a move to another team at the company, she began talking to other women who told her they’d filed complaints against the manager she had accused.

She said that after she and other women decided to complain again to human resources, she was told that there had been no other complaints against the manager and that no further action could be taken.

“It was such a blatant lie that there was really nothing I could do,” she said.

Riggetti said the manager eventually left the company, but she doesn’t know what led to his departure.

Riggetti was with the company from November 2015 to December 2016, when she left after a manager threatened to fire her if she continued to report sexism, she said.

“On my last day at Uber, I calculated the percentage of women who were still [there]. Out of over 150 engineers in SRE, only 3 percent were women,” she wrote.

Riggetti’s allegations come after a #DeleteUber campaign began online after Kalanick joined President Donald Trump’s economic council. After Uber lowered its prices during a taxi strike at New York City’s JFK airport, opposition to the company intensified.

Striking drivers were protesting Trump’s executive order on immigration, and Uber’s critics accused it of trying to profit from the protest. The company has denied that.

Also, Kalanick resigned from Trump’s economic council, saying that joining it had been misinterpreted as an endorsement of the president.

At the height of the #DeleteUber campaign, so many people were trying to delete their accounts that the company’s system shut down. The system was eventually switched to an automatic process.

The Dallas Observer has reported on allegations about Uber, including threats, lies, sexism and shady business deals.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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