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Uber is Being Sued Over Racial and Gender Discrimination Toward Employees

A lawsuit has been filed against Uber by three Latina engineers over claims that the company doesn’t provide equal pay to women and People of Color, nor does Uber promote them as frequently as they do men, White people and Asians. The three women, one of whom still works at Uber, are accusing the company of violating California’s Equal Pay Act in a Tuesday complaint filed in San Francisco.

This is only the most recent of such lawsuits filed against technology companies, as both Twitter and Microsoft are also currently facing such accusations. In September, Google was hit with a lawsuit over systematically providing more pay for men than women as well.

The complaint has been filed under a California state statute which provides employees with the ability to take action as the state labor secretary to bring enforcement actions. The law also gives them a means of avoiding an aspect of Uber’s contracts which requires disputes within the workplace to through one-on-one arbitration through the company as opposed to group actions in court.

A “stack ranking” system is used by Uber to evaluate employees, which involves ranking workers from worst to best via subjective opinions about their performances by supervisors. According to the complaint,

Female employees and employees of color are systematically undervalued compared to their male and white or Asian American peers because female employees and employees of color receive, on average, lower rankings despite equal or better performance.

Uber issued a statement in July in which they indicated they adjusted salaries to ensure equal pay to women and minorities. The statement said,

To date, our compensation approach has been similar to that of other pre-IPO companies, but as we’ve grown it’s become clear that we need to adjust our philosophy and continue to increase transparency going forward. Thanks to feedback from our employees, we’re making the right investments to set ourselves up for the future.

The women filing the suit against Uber are doing so under California’s Private Attorneys General Act, which states that the state of California will keep 75% of all penalties won, with the remaining 25% going to the workers in question. This can translate to billions of dollars if the case is ruled in favor of the Uber employees.

The case is formally known as Avendano v. Uber Technologies Inc., 17-562113, California Superior Court, San Francisco County.

[via Bloomberg Quint]

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