Uber Is Facing A New Discrimination-Based Lawsuit

Claims of discrimination continue to pile up against Uber. The ride-sharing company, which was rocked by a viral blog post from former engineer Susan Fowler in early 2017, has since lost its CEO Travis Kalanick and gone through a major corporate culture investigation. And this week, it's facing a new discrimination lawsuit.

This one, filed in the Superior Court of California this past Tuesday, October 24, alleges the company discriminates against female engineers and engineers of color, paying them 18% less and promoting them less frequently than their white and Asian American colleagues in similar roles. Two former female employees, Ingrid Avendaño and Roxana del Toro Lopez and one current employee, Ana Medina, brought the suit against the company. Avendaño and del Toro Lopez both left Uber this summer, in June and August respectively. According to Axios, both women worked in the same engineering division as Fowler.

Uber declined Refinery29's request for comment.

According to the lawsuit, "Uber uses a companywide 'stack ranking' system for evaluating employee performance, which requires supervisors to rank employees from worst to best." This means that even if two employees perform at roughly the same level, one would still need to be ranked higher than the other. This matters, since performance reviews play a large part in determining someone's pay, both base salary and bonus, and whether they get a promotion. The plaintiffs claim Uber did not use valid criteria in these evaluations, and held biases based on gender and ethnicity.

The sexual harassment that Fowler wrote in her blog post is also mentioned in the suit, noting that it's something Uber failed to take action against after complaints were made.

Since former attorney general Eric Holder published his recommendations for reforming Uber's corporate culture in June 2017, the company has made many public claims it is taking action. In August, reports said Uber was raising employee salaries in an effort to ensure equal pay. But a recent Wall Street Journal interview with chief HR officer Liane Hornsey seemed less than optimistic and, with yet another lawsuit against the company, you have to wonder if it's too little, too late.