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Uber adopts changes in attempt to curb harassment

Following allegations of sexual harassment and other issues regarding mistreatment of its employees, Uber hired the law firm of former Attorney General Eric Holder to lead a probe into the company's workplace culture. Holder and his colleagues recently delivered a list of 10 recommendations to the board members.

Given the PR nightmare that has encompassed Uber recently, it's no surprise that the board voted to approve all 10 recommendations. What does this mean for the company?

The recommendations are outlined in a 13-page report, but the highlights include:

  • "Reallocating the responsibilities" of CEO Travis Kalanick, who is currently on a leave of absence.
  • Increasing the role of the company's head of diversity.
  • Creating a separate ethics and culture committee.
  • Holding senior leaders accountable through compensation.
  • Eliminating company values that were used to justify past behavior.

While Uber has agreed to adopt all of the recommendations, it remains to be seen how these changes will impact Uber. In addition to the new policies and procedures being implemented, multiple top executives have left the company and at least 20 employees have been fired as a result of investigations into harassment and discrimination.

The question now is will employees see a tangible change in how they are treated?

While Uber is making changes to hopefully improve the workplace, these issues should have been avoided from the beginning. Companies need policies in place that protect both the business and the employees. If Uber had more effectively implemented and monitored policies to support a workplace culture free from sexual harassment and discrimination, the company, and likely the victims of such conduct, may never have found themselves in this position in the first place.

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