Uber hires ex-US Attorney General Holder to probe sexual harassment

(Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc has hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to conduct a review of sexual harassment claims at the ride-hailing service made by a former employee.

Holder and Tammy Albarran, who are partners at the law firm Covington & Burling, will look into the complaints about a manager at Uber, as well as general questions about diversity and inclusion, Chief Executive Travis Kalanick told his employees in a memo on Monday that was seen by Reuters.

Last year, Airbnb hired Holder, who served under former President Barack Obama, to help craft a policy to combat discrimination occurring through the online lodging service's platform.

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Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during the second day at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 26, 2016.

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Arianna Huffington, who joined Uber's board last year, Liane Hornsey, Uber's chief human resources officer, and Angela Padilla, the company's associate general counsel, will also help conduct the review, Kalanick said in the memo.

Huffington, Kalanick and Hornsey will meet on Tuesday, the memo said.

"There have been many questions about the gender diversity of Uber's technology teams," Kalanick said.

Uber will publish a broader diversity report for the company in the coming months, he said.

Susan Fowler, the former Uber employee who complained of being the target of sexual harassment by her manager, wrote in a blog post on Sunday that when she reported the offense to human resources officials and management, they declined to punish the alleged offender because he "was a high performer."

In a statement sent to Reuters on Sunday, Kalanick called Fowler's allegations "abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in."

(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Brown)


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