By Glenn Fleishman
August 22, 2018

What does it cost a company to allegedly discriminate against engineers on the basis of race, ethnicity, and gender? About $11,000 for each of 500 plaintiffs (over $5 million total) who are members of a 2017 class-action suit against Uber alleging pay discrimination and harassment against women and people of color.

The details of the settlement were filed in court Tuesday, according to Bloomberg News.

Of that larger group, 56 specifically filed claims alleging sexual harassment or a hostile work environment, and will receive part of a separate $1.9 million payout, an average of $34,000 each. Complainants, some of whom continue to work at Uber, will receive different amounts based on factors like duration and severity of their alleged abuse. The remainder of the settlement, roughly $3 million, covers the costs of bringing the suit.

A judge will hold a hearing in November to decide on final approval.

In April, Uber agreed to settle the suit and change its compensation and promotion practices, while also putting into place additional mentoring and training for people of color and women. In a statement on Tuesday, Uber said, “We agree with the plaintiff’s motion which states that ‘the class has responded extremely favorably to the settlement’ with amounts that are ‘fair, reasonable, and adequate.'”

After years of aggressive growth and entry into markets worldwide, Uber has spent the last 18 months picking up the pieces of the frat-boy culture it fostered and the behavior that high-level employees engaged in after a former engineer, Susan Fowler, posted an essay detailed being sexually harassed at the company. The founding CEO was forced out by key investors, and the current CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, has settled a number of outstanding lawsuits while trying to be more cooperative and placating to regulators worldwide.

Most of the successfully pursued settlements in Silicon Valley wind up happening behind closed doors, making it impossible to evaluate the Uber payouts relative to what other employees have received. A number of lawsuits remain underway, including a separate one filed in May against Uber.

 

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