Ingrid Avendaño, a former engineer at Uber, filed a lawsuits against the rideshare company Monday, accusing her co-workers of sexually harassing her and its human resources department for doing nothing about it.
Avendaño, who left Uber last year, claimed in the lawsuit that she complained to the company’s human resources department numerous times about sexual harassment, but was ignored. During one incident, she told the the human resources department that a male software engineer said that women can sleep their way to the top at a company like Uber. Human resources reportedly failed to investigate that claim and the same engineer told people in the company that Avendaño only got hired at Uber because she slept with someone. The employee was eventually terminated.
The harassment didn’t end there. Avendaño said another male software engineer touched her thigh during a retreat and continued to make unwanted sexual advances toward her. He told her that she was “so cute” and that he wanted to “take her home.”
Avendaño isn’t the only woman who claimed she was sexually harassed while working at Uber. Susan Fowler, another former Uber engineer, published a blog post about her time at the company. She claimed that when she informed management about the sexual harassment she endured from her direct supervisor, they told her they didn’t feel comfortable reprimanding him because he was a high performer. Uber hired former attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr. and his law firm to investigate claims in the workplace. They ended up firing 20 employees for sexual harassment and misconduct.
Avendaño was upset when she found out how Uber handled the situation regarding Fowler and told her bosses that they completely mishandled the situation and created a hostile work environment. She said she was reprimanded for throwing seniors workers under the bus and denied pay increases and promotions.
“Each time Avendaño raised concerns regarding unlawful conduct, she was met with Uber’s entrenched disregard for the rights of its women employees and a refusal to take effective steps to prevent harassment,” the lawsuit said.
Avendaño was so stressed out at work that she had to be hospitalized and took a medical leave from work. When she came back to the office, she said she received a low performance score.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual harassment, it may be in your best interest to contact Cohen & Cohen, P.C.