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Uber agrees to pay $10 million to settle discrimination suit

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Uber Technnologies has agreed to pay $10 million to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging the ride-hailing company discriminated against women and minorities.

The proposed settlement comes as a number of Silicon Valley companies grapple with gender, racial and other diversity issues.

The complaint, filed on behalf of more than 400 female and minority software engineers, claims that Uber created a hostile working environment and discriminated on the basis of race, gender and nationality. 

"This settlement involves claims dating back to July 2013 and, while we are continually improving as a company, we have proactively made a lot of changes since then," an Uber spokesman said in a statement.

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Over the past year, Uber has implemented a new compensation policy, revamped its performance review process, issued its first diversity report and taken other steps to make the company more hospitable to employees, the spokesman added.

Uber last year fired more than 20 people after an internal investigation into the company's culture following allegations of sexual harassment, bullying an other issues. 

In their suit, former Uber software developers Roxanna Del Toro Lopez and Ana Medina accused the company of paying other women and minority engineers less than their male peers for equal work. They also said Uber promoted them more slowly and provided biased performance evaluations compared with white and Asian male engineers. The two filed suit in San Francisco Superior Court in in October of 2017.

Under the settlement, Uber has committed to improving its compensation and promotion practices, according to the ruling. That includes implementing a better system for assessing which workers merit promotion, as well as offering mentorship and skill development opportunities to women and people of color.   

The tech industry has faced scrutiny for its labor practices, with a number of companies reacting by taking steps to protect women and minorities. Uber rival Lyft said Tuesday it will implement an annual audit by an independent firm to ensure employees are fairly paid compared with their peers, according to CNET.

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