Uber dismisses over 20 employees after law firm's probe

Uber is awash in inquiries after a former employee published a blog post alleging she was sexually harassed

Uber is awash in inquiries after a former employee published a blog post alleging she was sexually harassed

The ride-hailing company hired the law firm Perkins Coie to look into claims of harassment, discrimination, bullying and other employee concerns.

Ms Fowler's blog prompted Uber to set up a 24-hour hotline to take complaints from employees, and it hired lawyers at Perkins Coie to investigate them.

On Tuesday, the San Francisco company held an all-hands meeting for its 12,000 employees, where it discussed those findings and, according to a source familiar with the meeting, 40 additional employees were reprimanded or referred to counseling and training.

News of the terminations were first reported by Bloomberg News. Holder and Albarran's full report was delivered to Uber's board last week, but the release of its findings could be delayed because of the recent death of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick's mother in a boating accident. After the report was presented to the company's management, 20 staff members were sent packing. Now, it's been revealed that the investigation into her allegations of sexual harassment has led to 20 employees, including some senior executives, being fired.

Uber's workplace culture has been the subject of two independent investigations recently, which were spurred by a former employee's blog post earlier this year.

On Monday, Uber human resources chief Liane Hornsey told USA Today the greatest sources of internal dissatisfaction at the company are pay and pride, not sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment is illegal under the state and federal law, as is discrimination. The company didn't name the employees let go, but some of the people fired were senior executives, according to the Forbes source.

Problems at Uber are not unusual in the technology industry, given the company's size of more than 14,000 employees, said Wilson, whose firm has done similar work for the biggest tech companies in the nation. And it seems there may be plenty more to come.

Kalanick has reportedly made a series of high-profile hires and may still be looking for a chief operating officer amid the fallout. An investigation was launched by Uber shortly after. In the last few months, departures have included VP of finance Gautam Gupta, president Jeff Jones - who was at the company for less than a year - and Anthony Levandowski, an exec at the center of Uber's battle with Google (GOOGL, Tech30) over stolen self-driving vehicle technology.

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