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Is Uber guilty of silencing rape and sexual harassment victims?

The ride-sharing application Uber has been accused of trying to silence women who were victimized by sexual harassment and sexual assault by Uber drivers. According to a class-action lawsuit, the company has tried to strongarm women into submitting to confidential arbitration proceedings in order to resolve their legal issues rather than handling them public court. The move is considered to be a strategy to assist Uber in avoiding further public scrutiny relating to sexual harassment of its customers and employees.

Nine women are currently part of the class-action lawsuit that claims that women who were raped are being forced to resolve their lawsuits in arbitration as a result of special clauses found in the application's contract. Uber, on the other hand, is trying to claim that the women agreed to arbitration when they signed up to use the app.

In fact, arbitration clauses have barred numerous victims of sexual harassment throughout the United States from being able to pursue a lawsuit relating to their injuries. However, critics of these arbitration clauses say that they are making it easier for sexual harassers to keep their jobs, and helping companies with rampant sexual harassment to stay in the shadows and not resolve their toxic working environments. These clauses have affected employees and customers of large corporations alike.

If you're currently being barred from pursuing a sexual harassment case as a result of an arbitration clause that you didn't fully understand or know about, it's possible that legal strategies exist to protect your right to a lawsuit. Make sure you fully understand your situation before you walk away from a potential sexual harassment lawsuit.

Source: The Guardian, "Uber accused of silencing women who claim sexual assault by drivers," Sam Levin, March 16, 2018

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