NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Ride-sharing company Uber is changing its policy regarding claims of sexual misconduct and will now allow its riders and drivers to make claims of rape or assault in open court.
Previously Uber’s policy sought rape or assault allegations to be settled secretly in closed door arbitration, reports CBS2’s Jessica Layton.
Uber’s chief legal officer, Tony West, spoke about the new policy on CBS This Morning.
“We always want to try to resolve these claims in a way that is best for the survivor,” said West. “That always has to be our perspective when it comes to sexual assault.”
By the end of the year, West said Uber will start to publicly report incidents of alleged sexual misconduct – adding the company expects those “numbers are going to be disturbing.”
Uber is also removing confidentiality agreements in settled cases.
“We’re seeing great results as we’re moving forward to making sure we’re doing the right thing – putting transparency and accountability at the core pf everything we do,” he said.
In a Dallas courthouse, an Uber driver is on trial, charged with sexually assaulting a passenger in 2015 after following her into her home. In March, an Uber driver in Boston was charged with raping an inebriated passenger.
In an effort to rebuild its reputation, Uber brought in new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in August.
“We have no interest in closing down a person’s freedom to voice their experience or their concerns,” said Khosrowshahi.
Today’s changes come one month after Uber announced it will run criminal background checks on its United States drivers and add a 9-1-1 button for emergencies.