The sexual harassment scandal Uber has been embroiled in since 2017 will set the company back at least $1.9 million in settlement costs. 56 employees, both current and former, will collect an average of close to $34,000, with no one covered by the settlement objecting to it, though two individuals have opted out of receiving a payout, Bloomberg reports, citing a Monday filing submitted with a federal court in Oakland, California. Duration and severity of alleged workplace misconduct were the main factors that influenced the settlement figure, together with the volume of evidence supporting each individual case.
The settlement may be approved as early as November 6, which is when the next case hearing is scheduled to take place. The San Francisco, California-based startup is also on the verge of settling a 2017 class-action lawsuit filed by 431 minority and female engineers over pay disparity, with every individual plaintiff being set to collect close to $11,000 on average. That settlement will hence cost Uber over $4.74 million, not accounting for attorney costs that are also expected to be in the millions of dollars. A scenario wherein the competent court rejects the settlement for being too broad or too small is still possible, albeit unlikely, given how no single plaintiff formally objected to the development.
Allegations of Uber having a toxic work culture conducive to sexual harassment started circulating the industry last year after former engineer Susan Fowler published a blog post wherein she criticized one of the world's most valuable startup and its management for nurturing an environment that's hostile to women. The debacle ended up with the resignation of CEO Travis Kalanick, in addition to surfacing some 200 well-documented accounts of sexual harassment. Uber President Jeff Stones, Engineering SVP Amit Singhal, and a number of other senior executives left the firm last year following those controversies. Uber on Tuesday hired one Nelson J. Chai as its CFO who's finally set to succeed Brent Callinicos who left the firm in 2015. The company is still targeting an initial public offering in 2019 and is trying to clean up both its public image and finances before making its pitch to small investors.