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3 Women Of Color Accuse Uber Of Unequal Pay

Law360—Dave Simpson

Three women of color claim Uber Technologies Inc. does not pay female engineers or engineers of color equal compensation in a suit filed Tuesday in California state court, which blames, in part, a performance evaluation system in which supervisors rank their workers.

Ingrid Avendaño, Roxana del Toro Lopez and Ana Medina, two of whom left the company this summer, claim that this system uses criteria that is not valid or reliable, to the detriment of workers of color. They are alleging numerous violations of California Labor Code.

“In this system, female employees and employees of color are systematically undervalued compared to their male and white or Asian American peers because female employees and employees of color receive, on average, lower rankings despite equal or better performance,” the suit claims.

The women claim that the promotion protocol, which is based on this evaluation system, is flawed.

The women also claim that Uber sets up a discriminatory compensation policy by basing workers’ salaries on their salaries at previous jobs.

“In particular, this practice disadvantages women, who are generally paid 18% less than men in the same occupation in the marketplace,” the suit claims.

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The suit also claims that Uber failed “to properly investigate and take measures to remedy complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination.”

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“The plaintiffs are seeking equal pay as required under California law for all Uber engineers, regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity,” the women’s attorney, Jahan Sagafi, told Law360 in an email.

The plaintiffs are represented by Jahan C. Sagafi, Rachel W. Dempsey, Adam Klein and Rachel Bien of Outten & Golden LLP.

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The case is Avendaño et al. v. Uber Technologies Inc., case number CGC17562113, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Francisco.