February 27, 2017

Huffington Post Blogger: Uber Sexual Harassment Charge Shows Need for Ombuds

In a weekend post, contributor Jeffery Tobias Halter examined the recent claims of sexual harassment and an unrestrained workplace culture against Uber. Halter, a "gender strategist" and diversity executive at Coca-Cola, says there are five lessons companies should learn from the Uber situation. One of these lessons is that HR needs to be supplemented with an effective Ombuds program:

HR culpable in cover- up 
2) As the details unfold it appears that HR could actually be culpable in not addressing and covering up a sexual harassment claim. In the blog post detailing her year at Uber, former employee, Susan Fowler, stated that she presented the company’s human resources department with screenshots of inappropriate messages her team manager sent to her during her first few weeks on the job. According to Fowler, her manager was given a slap on the wrist for basically emailing a new female employee and suggesting they have sexual relations. HR knowingly covered up that this was his first offense when in fact it had happened multiple times before because he was considered a “high performer” and they didn’t want to ruin his career. 
  • The lesson, every company needs access to an outside third party Ombuds for employees to go to when HR fails to do its job. An external Ombuds provide an alternate channel for confidential, neutral, and informal dispute resolution services for an organization. What is still undetermined is who influenced HR to cover this up. HR alone did not make this decision. Someone, somewhere decided to protect this individual. 
The full article is worth a read. (Huffington Post.)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for for sharing and for the much needed Ombuds work.