UBER ignored a primary cornerstone of a solid business during its super-expansion. Simply stated, no one at the company took the time to create a foundation – a structure, and sound policies.
In fact from public reports it seems UBER sanctioned sexual harassment and gender bias which was encouraged or ignored by management in a hostile work environment. The prevalent company culture, which brought UBER financial success, ignored the basic rights of employees.
And in the blink of an eye, one employee went public and the situation snowballed into a law firm investigation, dozens of layoffs, and investor revolt.
The lesson is this: whether you are starting out or already established, create and adhere to an employee policy that conforms to the law and protects your employees.
An ounce of prevention is worth ten pounds of cure. A good business/employment attorney can save your company.
Where you have employees you have potential for problems, people are human, they do not always get along. When people spend hours at work together situations arise for which an Employer must prepare. The best way to do this is with policies and procedures which set out expectations of workplace behavior. What is acceptable and what is not.
Once these procedures are in place the next step is enforcement. What is the point of going to the trouble of drafting policies if they are to be ignored? Whether you have a human resources department, or are a one person CEO/President/COO assign someone, even if its you, to listen to employee complaints. And make sure employees know they can speak freely.
When employees sue for sexual harassment, hostile work environment, etc. 9 times out of 10 the issue could have been avoided had management or HR taken proactive measures to welcome the employee, investigate and resolve the problem.
Ignoring the issue, or worse yet encouraging a company culture of gender disrespect and harassment gets you to UBER, and the lawsuits by the UBER Employees have not even started. This is just the beginning of a long road for the company.
If you have any questions regarding implementing procedures, updating handbooks, investigating grievances, please contact the Law Offices of Liat Cohen (818) 579-9996. Free consultation.
Liat Cohen, Esq.
Update from Liat : Jan 14th, 2020
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