Dozens of groups, including the ACLU, NAACP and the Economic Policy Institute, wrote letters to some of America’s largest tech companies today, demanding that they free their employees from forced arbitration. Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Google and Uber were among the companies whose CEOs received the letters.
Tagged With forced arbitration agreements
Women who sued Uber on the assertion that the company's policies failed to protect them and others from sexual misconduct want to have their case heard by a jury. But they say Uber's terms of service have forced them into arbitration, meaning anyone who uses the app must settle disputes behind closed doors through a third party - not the courts, where proceedings would be public.
Last year, after former Uber engineer Susan Fowler published her blog post alleging the company was rife with sexual harassment and discrimination issues, the allegations against Uber and other Silicon Valley companies began to pour out. These were issues that had plagued women and people of colour in Silicon Valley for years, but for many outside the bubble, they came as a shock. That's because many of the individuals who spoke out had been legally prevented from taking their employers to court due to a clause in their employment contract known as a forced arbitration agreement. In December, Microsoft became the first major tech company to publicly eliminate forced arbitration agreements for sexual harassment and gender discrimination claims. If the rest of the Silicon Valley corporations want to fully reckon with their culture, they too need to eliminate them in these scenarios and others.