Uber sacks 20 staff after sexual harassment, bullying probe

Twenty Uber employees have been dismissed from their jobs and seven are on their final warnings after a wide-reaching investigation into sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying at the company.

The probe was launched after former site engineer Susan Fowler wrote a scathing blog accusing Uber of brushing her multiple sexual harassment claims under the carpet, to the point she felt forced out of the company.

After Ms Fowler's blog post, Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick immediately announced the company would be launching a probe into that and other unacceptable behaviour.

That investigation, carried out by law firm Perkins Coie, looked into 215 claims.

As a result, 20 staff had their contracts terminated, 31 have been placed into training, seven have been given final warnings and 57 remain under review.

It's not clear where the employees in question were based.

A breakdown of the 215 claims reveal 54 were to do with discrimination, 47 were related to sexual harassment, 45 were to do with unprofessional behaviour, and 33 were related to bullying.

Other forms of harassment (19), retaliation (13), physical security (3) and wrongful termination (1) made up the rest of the claims.

In response to the controversy, Uber says it has bolstered its human resources department, established a confidential hotline for employees, and hired an academic in gender and diversity issues.

Uber has also faced a number of other difficulties in recent years, with the company racking up billions in debt each year and facing fierce protests and legal battles worldwide due to their takeover of the taxi market.