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Uber under cloud of sexual harassment, mismanagement

Uber is clearly having some serious growing pains, as evidenced by numerous media reports this week. The beleaguered company is reeling from allegations of sexual harassment and the announcement that its co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO), Travis Kalaninck, will be taking "an indefinite leave of absence."

Former Attorney General Eric Holder offered 13 pages of recommendations on ways of repairing the company's dysfunctional management style. The company grew exponentially under an almost exclusively male-dominated hierarchy but failed to develop basic protocols that dealt with bullying, sexual harassment and other egregious acts.

According to the document released this week from Covington & Burling LLP, Uber failed to establish policies to protect company employees, had a permissive attitude toward employee misconduct and had little supervision from its board.

In an odd coincidence, one board member resigned just this week after a meeting in which he offered an "inappropriate remark" about females while explaining Holder's recommendations to the company's employees.

The board member opined that if women were added to Uber's board, "there likely would be more talking," as noted in a recording that Yahoo obtained. He later resigned and referred to his own comment as "careless and inappropriate."

Holder became involved in the investigation after a former female engineer posted blog entries this year that described the ongoing harassment she experienced in the year she worked for Uber. According to the engineer, on her first day at work, she got propositioned by her supervisor. After reporting him to human resources, she was told he would be lectured, but that nothing further would be done since he was considered to be a "high performer," she noted in one blog entry.

No matter where you work, it is important to realize that you do have rights. If you are subjected to sexual harassment on the job, learn about your legal options.

Source: MSN, "Uber recommendations show company was 'out of control'," Associated Press, June 14, 2017

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