- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Uber will no longer make its drivers, customers and employees go through forced arbitration when they lodge sexual assault or harassment claims against the ride-hailing service, the company announced Tuesday.

Forced arbitration shields legal conflicts from public scrutiny and often requires a confidentiality agreement, silencing victims.

“Whether to find closure, seek treatment, or become advocates for change themselves, survivors will be in control of whether to share their stories,” wrote Tony West, Uber’s chief legal officer, in a blog post. “Enabling survivors to make this choice will help to end the culture of silence that surrounds sexual violence.”

Linda Lipsen, CEO of the American Association for Justice, applauded the announcement, but said lawmakers should step in and pass legislation to prohibit forced arbitration more broadly.

“Unless Congress acts to protect the rights of all Americans whose stories might not be gripping the headlines, we are subject to the whims of corporations to decide what is in the public’s interest. Until the law is changed, thousands of Americans will continue to have their rights stripped away in silence,” she said.

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