Former Attorney General Eric Holder has been hired by Uber, after a former female engineer’s blog about sexual harassment while working at the ride-sharing company went viral.
Susan J. Fowler, who worked a little over a year at Uber in 2015, alleges that she and other women were subjected to egregious sexual harassment during her time at Uber:
“On my first official day rotating on the team, my new manager sent me a string of messages over company chat. He was in an open relationship, he said, and his girlfriend was having an easy time finding new partners, but he wasn’t. He was trying to stay out of trouble at work, he said, but he couldn’t help getting in trouble, because he was looking for women to have sex with. It was clear that he was trying to get me to have sex with him, and it was so clearly out of line that I immediately took screenshots of these chat messages and reported him to HR.”
Fowler also writes that Uber’s Human Resources department was pretty dismissive of her claims:
“I was then told that I had to make a choice: (i) I could either go and find another team and then never have to interact with this man again, or (ii) I could stay on the team, but I would have to understand that he would most likely give me a poor performance review when review time came around, and there was nothing they could do about that. I remarked that this didn’t seem like much of a choice, and that I wanted to stay on the team because I had significant expertise in the exact project that the team was struggling to complete (it was genuinely in the company’s best interest to have me on that team), but they told me the same thing again and again. One HR rep even explicitly told me that it wouldn’t be retaliation if I received a negative review later because I had been ‘given an option.’ I tried to escalate the situation, but got nowhere with either HR or with my own management chain (who continued to insist that they had given him a stern-talking to and didn’t want to ruin his career over his ‘first offense’).”
In an internal email, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said that Holder would lead an “independent review” into the allegations, reports The Guardian.