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Uber's data report on sexual assaults to be released in 2019

After ending forced arbitration that kept claims out of court, the ride-hailing company compiles a safety transparency report.

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Uber plans to release data on sexual assaults that happen during its rides. 

Uber

Uber made an unprecedented move last May: It decided to drop all mandatory arbitration agreements with its riders, drivers and employees that kept claims of sexual assault and harassment out of court.

Along with that announcement, the ride-hailing company promised to release a safety transparency report with data on all sexual violence experienced in the workplace and in its vehicles. Uber said on Monday that report will be delivered in 2019.

"Numbers matter. They help us hold ourselves accountable," Uber's chief legal officer Tony West and chief public affairs officer for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center Kristen Houser wrote in a blog post. "We believe that new strategies are needed to advance real solutions to help reduce the sexual violence that is so prevalent in our society."

Forced arbitration means that people waive their right to sue in public court, and sometimes must agree to confidentiality agreements. When Uber drivers and riders sign up to use the app, they click on these agreements. Many tech employees also have to agree to these clauses when they take jobs in Silicon Valley companies.

Ending mandatory arbitration has been a hot-button issue. Just last week, Google announced it would end forced arbitration in cases of sexual assault and harassment after massive employee protests. Facebook followed suit a couple of days later.

The Google protests were sparked by an investigation by The New York Times that revealed the company gave a senior executive accused of sexual harassment a $90 million exit package.

Uber has partnered with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and the Urban Institute to create its safety transparency report. The company said Monday it's been working to define and categorize the types of incidents that are reported. So far, it's outlined 21 categories of sexual assault and misconduct behaviors, which range from leering to indecent exposure to non-consensual sexual penetration.

"Sexual violence is a deeply rooted problem that no industry is immune from," West and Houser wrote. "We believe corporations have a big opportunity to be part of the solution to preventing sexual misconduct and assault by working together to confront it, count it, and ultimately end it."

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