Uber to pay 56 workers $1.9 million for harassment and discrimination claims

Arianna Huffington on Uber: 'No brilliant jerks allowed'
Arianna Huffington on Uber: 'No brilliant jerks allowed'

On Monday, lawyers for the plaintiffs filed paperwork in a Northern California district court that outlined how a $10 million settlement announced in March would be divvied up.

Uber has agreed to pay 56 current and former employees about $33,900 each, or $1.9 million, to settle their claims of gender discrimination, harassment and hostile work environment. In addition to the $1.9 million, another $5.1 million will be divided among more than 480 workers, including the 56 who are receiving the other payouts.

The lawsuit was filed against Uber in October 2017 by three Latina engineers who alleged they were paid less than their white or Asian male colleagues. The women claimed Uber used a discriminatory "stack ranking" system, alleging "female employees and employees of color are systematically undervalued ... because [they] receive, on average, lower rankings despite equal or better performance."

Those stack rankings were then used, in part, to determine promotions, according to the lawsuit. Uber also set employee pay based on their past compensation, which inherently disadvantages women.

Fifty-six workers came forward to describe their experiences with discrimination and harassment at Uber. They are a subset of a broader class that includes about 480 women and underrepresented minorities who worked in certain software engineering jobs. That broader pool of people will receive a payout of about $10,700 each, based on their length of employment, title and location.

Two people have opted out of the settlement thus far for undisclosed reasons, according to the paperwork.

Related: Uber finally hires a chief financial officer

An Uber spokesperson later sent the following statement to CNN: "We agree with the plaintiff's motion which states that 'the class has responded extremely favorably to the settlement' with amounts that are 'fair, reasonable, and adequate.'"

A hearing to make final approval of the settlement is slated for November 6.

In July 2017, Uber said it bumped up salaries to ensure all employees, regardless of gender or race, are paid equally based on their location, job and tenure in the role. Uber said it also re-evaluated employee salaries after paying bonuses in March.

Last month, Uber's head of human resources Liane Hornsey resigned following an internal investigation into how she handled racial discrimination claims within the company.

EEOC investigators launched an investigation last August. They've interviewed former and current Uber employees and requested internal documents related to the company's hiring practices and wages, among other gender-related topics.

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