Outten & Golden LLP: Uber Faces New Discrimination, Sexual Harassment Claims

PRNewswire—Outten & Golden LLP
May 21, 2018

Uber Technologies, Inc. is accused in a new lawsuit of retaliating against a former female software engineer for reporting allegations of discriminatory treatment and sexual harassment directed at her and other female employees, the Outten & Golden LLP law firm said today.

Former Uber software engineer Ingrid Avendaño sued today in California superior court, alleging that the company work culture was “permeated with degrading, marginalizing, discriminatory, and sexually harassing conduct towards women. This culture was perpetuated and condoned by numerous managers, including high level company leaders.” Avendaño worked at Uber from 2014 to 2017.

The lawsuit alleges, “[E]ach time Avendaño raised concerns regarding unlawful conduct, she was met with Uber’s entrenched disregard for the rights of its women employees and a refusal to take effective steps to prevent harassment. Worse, she suffered blatant retaliation, including denial of promotions and raises, unwarranted negative performance reviews, and placement on an oppressively demanding on-call schedule that had detrimental effects on her health.  She was also threatened with termination.  Uber’s failure to take effective remedial measures forced her to resign.” 

Jennifer Schwartz, a partner in Outten & Golden LLP’s San Francisco office, said, “I believe that Ingrid Avendaño’s actions demonstrated a steadfast commitment to the betterment of Uber. For years, she wanted to help make Uber a safe and just place to work for herself and other female employees.  An employee who complains about unfair treatment should not suffer retaliatory conduct, costs to her career, or costs to her health.  And such an employee should not be subjected to efforts to silence her or to force her to resign.”

Avendaño alleges violations of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), the California Equal Pay Act (EPA), unlawful business practices under California Business and Professions Code, wrongful termination, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Avendaño did not participate in the proposed settlement of class discrimination claims announced in March 2018. Her legal claims are separate from the pending settlement.

The case is “Ingrid Avendaño v. Uber Technologies, Inc.,” Case No. CGC-18-566677 in the Superior Court of California, San Francisco County.

Attorney Contacts: Jennifer Schwartz and Menaka N. Fernando, Outten & Golden LLP, 415.638.8800.