And they’re off! Uber’s reputation rehabilitation marathon is underway.
Goal: sweep away the scandals and prep for a 2019 IPO.
Phase One: Launch a mea culpa TV ad campaign featuring the ride-share’s new chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi.
Phase two: Announce customer-friendly changes to the brand’s terms of service agreement.
How Did Uber’s Terms of Service Change?
Uber’s old terms of service agreement included a mandatory arbitration clause that barred customers, drivers, and employees from individually suing or entering into sexual assault or harassment class actions. According to the contract, in the face of conflict, arbitration was the only option. Plus, opposing parties settled all conflicts with a non-disclosure agreement.
Uber’s new terms of service contract doesn’t include the mandatory arbitration clause for sexual assault and harassment claims, freeing up employees, drivers, and customers to sue the company over such matters. It also abolishes the non-disclosure requirement.
Note, however, that the agreement still bars parties from collective and class actions. Furthermore, the change only applies to cases of sexual harassment and assault. Other types of discriminatory conflicts are still bound to the mandatory obligation cause.
Uber also eliminated a time-sensitive stipulation that allowed people to opt-out of the arbitration clause if they did so within 30 days of signing the contract.
Of the terms of service changes, Tony West, Uber’s chief legal officer commented:
“It’s important to give sexual assault, and harassment survivors control of how they pursue their claims. So moving forward, survivors will be free to choose to resolve their individual claims in the venue they prefer. They will be free to tell their story wherever and however they see fit.”
In addition to Uber’s terms of service changes, the company will also publish a transparency report detailing “sexual assaults and other episodes that take place on the ‘uber platform.’” The company is working with 80 women’s groups on the project and hopes to unveil it by December.
Is Uber the Only Tech Company To Make These #metoo-friendly Changes?
Uber is not the only shop in Silicon Valley making #metoo updates to its terms of service agreements. After Uber announced its intentions, Lyft, the company’s chief rival, quickly followed suit.
And for the record, Microsoft took the step before both ride-shares.
Connect With A Terms for Service Lawyer
HT Law works with all manners of businesses and websites — big and small — on terms of service agreements, privacy policies, and a host of other digital and Internet law matters. We’re experienced, hyper-detail-oriented, and budget-friendly.
Give us a call today; the consultation is on us. We’ll chat to determine if you’re legally protected. If you’re not, we’ll tell you how to get there.