Uber has agreed to pay $10 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of 420 female and minority engineers who alleged that they were paid less and that management at the rideshare company had allowed a hostile work environment to exist. According to a report on Fortune.com, the company, as part of the proposed settlement, said it would change the way in which it determines employee compensation in addition to giving women and minorities more training and mentoring.
In recent years, tech companies have been under fire for the underrepresentation of women and some minority groups in their workforces. The discrimination lawsuit against Uber was originally brought by three women — Ingrid Avendano, Roxana del Toro Lopez and Ana Medina. They described themselves as Latina software engineers and had alleged that Uber’s practices including how it evaluated employees caused them to lose out on earnings and promotions. The settlement is pending approval by a San Francisco Superior Court Judge.
Discrimination Based on Race and Gender
Under state and federal laws, it is illegal to discriminate against employees or potential employees based on race, gender, nationality, religion, sexual orientation and other protected characteristics. This law exists to ensure that all are treated equally in the workplace. But recent media reports have shown that wage discrimination is rampant in the workplace. Women and minorities are usually the segments that get shortchanged when it comes to wage increases and promotions. The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have drawn attention to sexual harassment in the workplace as well as wage discrepancies that have plagued several industries over the decades.
Protecting Your Rights
So, what can workers do to protect their rights? The important thing is to be aware of your rights. If you believe or even suspect that you are being discriminated against because of who you are, contact an experienced California employment lawyer who can help determine the facts and hold your employer accountable.
Just as the employees of Uber did in this case, filing a class action lawsuit might be an option for those who wish to hold large corporations accountable for such wrongdoing. You may be able to receive compensation for wages lost, emotional distress caused by a hostile work environment and other damages. An experienced attorney will be able to help you better understand your legal rights and options.