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Uber orders ‘urgent’ probe over sex harassment allegations

New York: Cab-hailing app Uber announced that it was opening an “urgent investigation” after a former employee made public allegations of sexism and harassment at the company, the media reported.

Susan Fowler, an engineer who published a blog post titled “Reflecting On One Very, Very Strange Year At Uber” on Sunday detailing her experience at Uber which she joined in November 2015, claimed the company refused to do more than issue a warning to a superior after she and other women complained about sexual harassment, CNN reported.

Fowler claimed that a superior made sexual advances within weeks of starting her job. She said she reported him to HR, but was told “they wouldn’t feel comfortable giving him anything other than a warning and a stern talking-to.”

She wrote that she was blamed after making a number of reports detailing gender discrimination.

Another superior threatened to fire her for bringing her concerns to human resource department.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, in a statement issued several hours after Fowler’s post, said that what the former employee described “is abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in”.

Kalanick said he had not known of Fowler’s claims. He said he has instructed the company’s chief human resource officer “to conduct an urgent investigation into these allegations”.

“We seek to make Uber a just workplace and there can be absolutely no place for this kind of behaviour at Uber — and anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired,” Kalanick said.

Arianna Huffington, who joined Uber’s board of directors last year, said on Sunday that she would work on the investigation into Fowler’s allegations.

She tweeted out her email address for anyone who wanted to contact her directly.