On February 19, 2017, Susan Fowler, a 26-year-old woman who had worked as a reliability engineer at Uber, then industry leader in ride-sharing, published a blog entitled “Reflecting on One Very, Very Strange Year at Uber,” documenting a culture of sexual harassment, coarse language and aggressive sexual predation by men at the company. In her essay, she provided details of a string of messages her manager sent her the first day on the job, including one telling her he was “looking for a woman to have sex with.”
Fowler, who, after one year, quit what she thought would be a dream job at the tech company, says that she took screen shots of the messages and reported her manager to human resources, expecting that they would take action against him. Instead, she was told (falsely, it turns out) that because it was his first offense and he was a high performer, nothing would be done. She was then told that she could either ask for a transfer to another team or expect a bad performance review. She says the rampant sexist behavior decimated the female ranks in the engineering department at Uber, leaving just 6% of the staff female.
In the months following Fowler’s blog post, then CEO Travis Kalanick came under significant scrutiny for his role in fostering the sexually hostile environment. For example, in an interview with GQ, Kalanick famously talked about the company this way “Yeah, we call that Boob-er.” Kalanick initial went on indefinite leave, but subsequently resigned after shareholders demanded he leave. He remains on the company’s board of directors.
Contact the Law Offices of Mallon & Tranger
To learn how we can help you if you have been the victim of sexual harassment, contact us online or call us at 732-410-6094 (toll free at 877-320-0692). There is no charge for your first meeting. We have offices in Freehold, Toms River and Point Pleasant.