- Uber agreed last week to pay $1.9 million to 56 employees to settle an October 2017 lawsuit, originally brought by three Latina engineers, alleging sexual harassment, CNN reports. The employees will each receive about $34,000.
- The agreement is part of a broader $10 million settlement agreement. Another $5.1 million will be paid to a group of 480 workers — including the 56 receiving the previously stated payments — for alleged pay disparities, according to Bloomberg.
- In a motion for settlement filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Northern California, the plaintiffs accused Uber of "providing them with less compensation for equal work, under-leveling them at hire, promoting them at a slower rate, and providing them with systematically biased performance evaluations" compared to white and Asian male counterparts. Plaintiffs also accused the company of having "stack ranking" systems that resulted in lower performance evaluations for both female engineers and engineers of color. The settlement's approval hearing is scheduled for Nov. 6.
Much of what the Uber plaintiffs alleged is similar to complaints lodged against other large tech companies in the past few years. Like Uber, both Google and Oracle have had to reckon with accusations of gender-based pay discrimination, while women at Microsoft filed a multitude of gender discrimination and harassment suits dating back to 2010.
If anything, it's a sign that HR in these industries may need to lead the way, conducting pay audits to determine the reasoning behind pay gaps. Tech companies are especially being tasked with providing an aggressive response to pay discrimination; Salesforce became a highly publicized example when it decided to spend millions to resolve its own gaps. But huge corrections of this sort may not be the correct route for every employer, experts say.
The rebuilding of Uber, in any case, will be perhaps the litmus test for tech during a time of cultural turbulence for both the industry and the HR profession generally. The company's previous chief of people resigned last month reportedly following an internal investigation into claims the employer ignored charges of race discrimination.