Uber's sexual harassment investigation has already seen 20 employees fired

Andrew Cummings
June 12, 2017

At least 20 people have been fired as a result of a Perkins Coie law firm investigation into allegations of harassment, according to one source familiar with the matter. Recommendations from it are expected to come at a planned Uber staff meeting next week, a spokesperson for the report told NBC News.

In the post, Fowler, a site-reliability engineer, detailed a horrifying year in which her sexual harassment claims were ignored by Uber's human resources department.

Uber was not immediately available for comment.

Susan Fowler, who worked as an engineer for Uber until the end of 2016, claims her manager made sexual advances shortly after she joined in 2015.

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

The firm Perkins Coie was tapped to investigate the company, along with former U.S. Attorney Eric Holder's firm Covington & Burling. The company also has been criticized for its political ties in recent months, as well as run-ins with drivers and conflicts with regulators.

After Fowler's blog posting, Uber set up a 24-hour hotline to take complaints from employees, and hired Perkins Coie to investigate them. The law firms behind the investigations are still looking at some of the complaints. The fired employees have not yet been named, nor has the specific reason for their dismissal, and it is unclear whether any more will go in the coming days or weeks.

Officials told KTVU that the majority of the 215 complaints were lodged by workers in the company's San Francisco office but reports were also filed from company's other offices as well.

The firm said it reviewed 215 human resources claims, but only took action in 100 instances as it continues to investigate 57 others, according to Bloomberg. "Worry that the company has this bad reputation and they want to make it better, that's what I've heard from people within the company", Kerr said. A lawsuit by Google alleging trade-secret theft by Uber's recently terminated head of Uber's self-driving program also could jeopardize an IPO.

On Monday, as Fortune reported, Uber hired Harvard Business School professor Frances Frei as senior vice president of Leadership and Strategy.

Wilson said she was given "unfettered access" to hundreds of thousands of documents and was able to conduct "scores" of interviews with current and former employees.

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