Ride-hailing company Uber agreed Wednesday to hand over $4.4 million in a settlement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which has been investigating sexual harassment and retaliation at the company since 2017.
The sum will go into a class fund compensating anyone the EEOC finds experienced such treatment at the San Francisco-based company since 2014.
The investigation “found reasonable cause to believe that Uber permitted a culture of sexual harassment and retaliation against individuals who complained about such harassment,” the EEOC said in a statement Wednesday.
In addition to paying the sum, Uber has agreed to former EEOC Commissioner Fred Alvarez monitoring the company for any breaches in behavior for the next three years.
The EEOC investigation was launched in 2017 after Susan Fowler, a former Uber engineer, wrote a widely circulated blog post detailing a toxic workplace culture in which male superiors solicited her for sex and human resources officers dismissed concerns she raised about sexist company practices.
At the time, then-CEO Travis Kalanick said that what Fowler described was “abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in.”
EEOC senior trial attorney Ami Sanghvi, who was an adviser on the investigation, said she hoped the settlement would inspire change in the tech industry, which has repeatedly come under fire for promoting a hostile work environment for women.
“This agreement will hopefully empower women in technology to speak up against sexism in the workplace knowing that their voices can yield meaningful change,” she said in a statement.
Uber’s chief legal officer, Tony West, issued a statement praising both parties for coming to an agreement.
“We’ve worked hard to ensure that all employees can thrive at Uber by putting fairness and accountability at the heart of who we are and what we do,” he said. “I am extremely pleased that we were able to work jointly with the EEOC in continuing to strengthen these efforts.”
Uber did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.