San Francisco, CA–The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Friday issued a proposal that would approve a settlement agreement on reporting of data on sexual harassment and assault, and penalize Uber $9 million for failure to respond to CPUC requests for data on such incidents arising in Uber passenger vehicles that were listed in Uber’s 2019 Safety Report.
The proposal will be on the CPUC’s December 2, 2021 voting meeting agenda.
The proposal, formally called a Proposed Decision, would adopt a settlement agreement between the CPUC’s Consumer Protection and Enforcement Division; Uber; and the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network. It would resolve an Order to Show Cause brought against Uber by the CPUC for failure to respond to CPUC Rulings requesting information regarding sexual assaults and harassment.
Under the proposed settlement, Uber would pay $9 million to support safety initiatives directly promoting public interest in passenger safety, including $5 million to the California Victims Compensation Board to be used for the victims of violence and sexual violence, with a recommendation to target these funds to victims of sexual violence and violence taking place in the passenger carrier industry, $4 million for efforts to address physical and sexual violence in the passenger carrier industry.
Consumer Protection and Enforcement Division’s contracts will be managed by an industry-wide evaluation of existing protocols and practices for classifying and reporting violence, including sexual violence. Also included is the development of recommendations for best practices for receiving, reporting, and responding to complaints of violence, including sexual violence, and the development of industry-wide education, outreach, and training on all forms of violence prevention, including sexual violence in the passenger carrier industry.
Uber would also pay a $150,000 fine to the state’s General Fund, according to state officials.
Further, under the settlement, Uber would: 1) provide information on sexual assault and harassment to the CPUC on a going-forward basis, leveraging a unique identifier system to protect the identities of survivors when transferring data to the CPUC; and 2) would create an opt-in process for survivors to make more of the information on their assault available to the CPUC.