Uber has been accused of allowing sexual harassment to occur in the workplace and creating a hostile work environment, and now the company’s chief executive officer (CEO) is going to step away from his position — at least for a time. He has a leadership team in place that will run things while he is gone, and he will return at an unspecified future date.
In the memo announcing the move, he said that he needed to work on his leadership abilities. He also admitted that the situation that the company was in and the scandals it has had to face were his fault.
One scandal involves a female engineer who worked for the company for roughly a year. According to her complaint, she arrived on the job and was sexually harassed by her immediate superior on the very first day. She went to Human Resources, but she says Uber didn’t take any action other than lecturing him. She claims they told her he was a high performer, so that’s why he would not be fired or otherwise punished.
The company has been saying all of the right things since, claiming they want to create a fair workplace where there is more accountability. They may also hire a chief operating officer (COO) who will then work directly with the CEO if and when he returns.
A culture of sexual harassment can be hard to break. Employees, especially those who have only been there for a short time, may feel relatively powerless. They need to make sure they’re always aware of their rights and legal options when being harassed.
Source: CBS, “Embattled Uber CEO Travis Kalanick To Take Leave,” June 13, 2017