NYT report uncovers new harassment claims at Uber

A former engineer's claims of sexism at Uber is apparently only the tip of a much deeper problem inside the company's culture, according to a scathing report published on Wednesday.

A New York Times investigation by Mike Isaac into Uber's workplace shows that the company's culture is worse than even the tell-all by the engineer, Susan Fowler, portrayed.

Isaac says he interviewed about 30 current and former employees, reviewed taped-meetings and chat transcripts. His report describes multiple troubling incidents. Some of the worst claims:

  • At a 2015 all-hands company meeting/party in Vegas, employees reportedly sniffed cocaine and a female employee was allegedly groped (the alleged groper was reportedly fired).

  • At that same event, an Uber employee is said to have "hijacked a private shuttle bus, filled it with friends and taken it for a joy ride."

  • One manager allegedly "threatened to beat an underperforming employee's head in with a baseball bat."

Former employees told the Times that they notified Uber's senior leadership, including CTO Thuan Pham and CEO Travis Kalanick, of workplace harassment. However, Uber had an "A-Team" of people close to Kalanick who avoided scrutiny from HR, according to the Times.

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Uber board member Arianna Huffington is involved in investigating the company's cultural complaints. She reportedly told employees at a recent hour-and-a-half all-hands meeting that there would be no more hiring of "brilliant jerks."

In the days since Fowler's blog post went viral, Kalanick claimed he wasn't aware of Fowler's harassment allegations and pledged a full investigation into the environment, which will be lead by former US Attorney General Eric Holder. However, Wednesday's report from The New York Times suggests that the scope of the investigation might have to be much wider than originally thought.

"We are totally committed to healing wounds of the past and building a better workplace culture for everyone," said Uber's Chief Human Resources Officer Liane Hornsey in a statement to Business Insider.

Read the full investigation by the New York Times here.

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