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Former engineer sues Uber for sexual harassment, discrimination

MarketWatch-WSJ—Greg Bensinger

A former Uber Technologies Inc. software engineer is suing the ride-hailing firm alleging years of sexual harassment, race discrimination and pay inequity, marking the first test of the company’s new policy relaxing forced arbitration for sex-related claims.

The engineer, Ingrid Avendaño, alleges that despite her formal complaints colleagues weren’t sufficiently disciplined for making sexual remarks at company events and in the office. The suit, filed on Monday in California Superior Court in San Francisco, seeks lost wages and compensation for distress on the job, as well as a guarantee that Uber will make changes to prevent further discrimination and harassment.

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The lawsuit comes less than a week after Uber announced a new policy freeing employees, customers and drivers to sue it in open court, rather than in mandatory arbitration, for claims of sexual harassment or assault. Uber, like many firms, had required arbitration for most claims against the company and under the new policy still mandates arbitration for class-action cases, including for sex-related incidents, and other matters, like racial discrimination.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.