UBER FLASHES HEADLIGHTS ON EMPLOYMENT LAWS

Well known ride-sharing app, Uber, has been headlining publications globally as its company policies, CEO and business model are being called into question. Uber’s recent transgressions relating to sexual harassment, discrimination, unprofessionalism, bullying, employment structures and a toxic workplace culture in America challenge many Australian employment laws.

The issues at hand allow Australian businesses, small to large, to reflect on their own company policies and procedures ensuring they abide by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and reduce their risk of litigation.

THE REPERCUSSIONS OF BUSINESSES WHO FAIL TO ACT ON COMPLAINTS

Employers have a statutory obligation to provide a safe workplace. If an employer fails to act on complaints raised by their employees, they are in breach of their obligation. Employers need to treat sexual harassment and other misconduct very seriously, regardless of the position of the victim and perpetrator.

An article published by The New York Times titled ‘Uber fires 20 Amid Investigation Into Workplace Culture’ exposes that 215 cases of workplace violations were investigated at Uber, of which 100 resulted in no action of investigation. Of these complaints 47 comprised sexual harassment, 54 complaints of discrimination and others included bullying, retaliation, physical security and nonsexual forms of harassment. The investigation was conducted by former U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder.

As a result, 20 employees have been terminated for harassment and discrimination, 31 are undergoing workplace education training and seven have been given final warnings. Read more

Trent Hancock – Dynamic Business – 5 July 2017