Difficult Days for Uber after Being Hit by a Series of Public Setbacks

Uber Technologies Inc. is going through trying times. This online transportation network company based in San Francisco has been hit by a lot of very public setbacks in the recent weeks.

Some incidents are a blog post dated Feb 19 by Susan Fowler, a former engineer at the company, which said that the human resources division had failed to respond to the complaints of sexual harassment made by her and also the sudden departure of Senior Vice President of Engineering, Amit Singhal, who did not inform Uber that a very credible sexual harassment case was made against him while he was working at Google Inc.

Also Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber, quit the economic advisory council of President Donald Trump after a lot of protests from the members of Uber staff and boycott of Uber services by customers. A video also surfaced where the CEO was having an argument with one Uber driver over the fares, which were falling. He did apologize for this.

The CEO sent a companywide email in which he said that he had hired former Tammy Albarran and US Attorney General Eric Holder partners at Covington & Burling L.L.P. to investigate these sexual harassment allegations. The law firm declined to comment on this.

Even Uber did not respond to comment requests and Mr. Singhal didn’t respond either.

The Vice President Andrew Foose for Navex Globel Inc. said that the companies fearing lawsuits should only give basic information of an employee when being asked about them, but the firm should make sure to find as much information about the prospective employee as they can, especially if the position is a senior management position.

Mr. Foose advises that while interviewing candidates for a job, the employers should directly ask them if they have been accused of any violation of company policy or misconduct in any way any time during their former employment.

Mr. Foose also warned about the referral lawsuits of negligent type, where the employer could be sued if they let another company knowingly hire an employee who was bad.

Pepper Hamilton L.L.P. counsel, Tracey Diamond said that the companies also leave themselves susceptible to charges of hiring negligently if they are not doing a great job in vetting the candidates and hires someone who had committed a crime or creates a work environment that is unsafe. 

The company clearly has a lot of work to do to improve its image. The Assistant Professor of Clinical Marketing, Ira Kalb, of USC Marshal School of Business LA, said that Uber should be employing a fact procedure where they apologize and admit their mistake and propose a clear solution to show that these kinds of incidents will not be occurring again. He was not surprised by this situation at Uber.

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