Uber faces heat as the popular driving app had to let go more than 20 employees Tuesday after an investigation into several sexual harassment claims. Employees were informed at a staff meeting that 215 harassment claims had been further examined.

Read: Uber Looks To Calm Outrage After Surge Pricing During London Attacks

While sexual harassment claims proved to be what were most widely reported, CNN also noted that the 215 claims investigated for employee termination included incidents of "unprofessional behavior and bullying."

An Uber spokesperson told Bloomberg that 31 employees are in counseling or training, while seven others have received written warnings from the company. At this time, a list of the dismissed employees has not been revealed, but the newly terminated employees reportedly included a few senior executives. 

The investigations stemmed from accusations that Susan Fowler, a former Uber engineer, made in a long blog post published in February. Fowler decided to reveal her "strange, fascinating, and slightly horrifying story" of her supervisor's harassment because it needed "to be told." 

"He was trying to stay out of trouble at work, he said, but he couldn't help getting in trouble, because he was looking for women to have sex with," Fowler wrote. "It was clear that he was trying to get me to have sex with him, and it was so clearly out of line that I immediately took screenshots of these chat messages and reported him to HR."

Read: Uber’s Surge Pricing Tactic During London Bridge Terror Attack Ignites Social Media Outrage

Fowler's story also claimed that Uber's HR department didn't want to punish her supervisor because he "was a high performer." Therefore, they tried to hide the complaints she made against him. However, the Los Angeles Times noted that Travis Kalanick, the company's chief executive, stated that the supervisor's behavior was "abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in." Thus, the investigative process began.

While all eyes are on Uber after their decision to fire over 20 employees for harassment and other problematic claims, the ride-sharing company is no stranger to controversy.

International Business Times rounded up five of the most controversial issues that have plagued the company below.


With many London citizens in the midst of danger during terrorist attacks that hit the city last week, many turned to the ride-share app to for safety.

Although several London taxi drivers offered free rides to get people out of the area safely, those that opted for Uber discovered that the app applied surge pricing, a charge that usually pops during high-demand or rush hour times.

Several Londoners that used Uber during the terrorist attacks flocked to Twitter to voice their complaints. One user tweeted, "Hey @Uber -- you're really going to surge price x2.1 during a terrorist attack in #London??? Lower than low."

"As soon as we heard about the incident, we immediately suspended dynamic pricing all around the area of the attacks," said Tom Elvidge, Uber’s London general manager, in a statement. "Shortly afterwards across the whole of central London — just as we did following the attacks in Manchester and Westminster."

Uber eventually refunded fares to quell users' anger.


It's common knowledge that Lyft is a direct competitor of Uber. 

In 2014, Uber’s "brand ambassadors" were given fake phones and credit cards to order rides from Lyft. But they were instructed to cancel them minutes before arrival. According to the Observer, a total of 5,560 fake rides have been submitted by Uber employees. While Uber denied any such allegations, the Verge revealed Uber’s secret “playbook” to destroy its competitor. The article included actual documents and images to back up the claims.

In a 2014 Vanity Fair profile on Kalanick, the CEO came clean regarding his company's executive decision to mess with Lyft's fundraising efforts.

"We knew that Lyft was going to raise a ton of money,” he told Vanity Fair. "And we are going [to their funders], 'Just so you know, we’re going to be fund-raising after this, so before you decide whether you want to invest in them, just make sure you know that we are going to be fund-raising immediately after.'"


In April 2017, a claim began to circulate that the ride service tracked users even once they've deleted the application. According to The Hill, Washington lawmakers were looking into "calling for hearings to examine Uber’s potentially invasive practices" since this would be a violation of the first amendment. 

Apple's CEO Tim Cook discovered Uber's sneaky practice in 2015, according to the New York Times. Cook warned Kalanick to knock it off or Uber would no longer have a presence on iPhone's App Store.

As New York Magazine noted, "this is a typical way to prevent fraudsters from loading Uber onto a stolen phone, putting in a stolen credit card, taking an expensive ride and then wiping the phone—over and over again." 

"We absolutely do not track individual users or their location if they’ve deleted the app," said an Uber spokesperson of the accusation, according to The Hill.


Uber had slashed the fares of their drivers in 2015 and 2016, according to the Observer.

Taylor Bennett, a Washington DC Uber representative, told the Observer in 2015, "The point of the price cut is to increase demand and efficiency. When drivers finish a trip, there is automatically a new demand or new request, as opposed to driving across the city. It increases the efficiency, and therefore earnings increase."

Drivers, however, didn't benefit from the business model shift as they had to "work harder for less money." Naturally, protests were held against Uber's treatment of their drivers in San Franciso, Tampa and several other US cities. 


In February 2017, a video surfaced of Kalanick arguing with a UberBlack driver over the change in fares.

Fawzi Kamel, the UberBlack driver, confronted Kalanick about the slashed fares. According to New York Magazine, the driver claimed he had to file for bankruptcy because of the decrease in fares. 

"Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own s***," Kalinich said before leaving Kamel’s car. "They blame everything in their life on somebody else. Good luck!"

Kalanick later issued an apology to Kamel in an email to his staff, according to Bloomberg.

"To say that I am ashamed is an extreme understatement," Kalanich said. "My job as your leader is to lead…and that starts with behaving in a way that makes us all proud. That is not what I did, and it cannot be explained away."