Three female engineers are suing Uber Technologies for allegedly discriminating against female employees and both men and women of color, marking the latest blow to the ride-services company that is straining to overcome a year of controversies over its workplace culture. The lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday in state court in San Francisco, follows a widely read blog post in February from another female engineer that described Uber’s work environment as one that tolerated and fostered sexual harassment.
According to the lawsuit, which was filed by Ingrid Avendano, Roxana del Toro Lopez and Ana Medina, who described themselves as “Latina software engineers,” alleges that Uber’s compensation and other practices discriminate against women and people of color. In particular, the complaint alleges that the ride sharing company’s employee ranking system that is “not based on valid and reliable performance measures” and favors men and white or Asian employees. Women, Latino, American Indian and African American employees are given lower performance scores, making it more difficult for them to advance professionally and confining them to more menial tasks.
“In this system, female employees and employees of color are systematically undervalued compared to their male and white or Asian American peers,” the lawsuit says. As a result, the three female plaintiffs argue that they have lost out on earnings, promotions and benefits. Avendano and Toro Lopez left Uber this summer after more than two years with the company. Medina is still employed there, according to the lawsuit.
Uber spokesman Matthew Wing declined to comment.
“These three engineers are seeking to ensure that Uber pays women and people of color equally for the hard work they’ve done – and will continue to do – to help make Uber successful,” the plaintifffs’ counsel lawyer Jahan Sagafi of Outten & Golden told Reuters.
UPDATED (March 28, 2018): Uber has agreed $10 million to settle a proposed class action alleging that the ride-share company discriminated against female employees and both men and women of color. Additionally, per Reuters, “The settlement, disclosed in a filing in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, says Uber also agreed to reforms to its system for compensation, reviews and promotions.” According to the filing, the settlement compensates for financial and emotional harm to about 285 women and 135 men of color.