uber sexual assault
A man arrives at the Uber offices in Queens, New York, Feb. 2, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Uber has had a tough start to 2017 with the ride-hailing service facing flak over its chief executive’s relations with President Donald Trump and the massively successful #DeleteUber campaign. Unfortunately, things do not seem to be looking up as a former engineer, in a blog post Sunday, said the company ignored her reports of sexual harassment.

The allegations by former employee Susan J. Fowler prompted Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to release a statement condemning such action at the workplace: “I have just read Susan Fowler’s blog. What she describes is abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in.”

“It’s the first time this has come to my attention so I have instructed Liane Hornsey, our new Chief Human Resources Officer, to conduct an urgent investigation into these allegations,” Kalanick added. “We seek to make Uber a just workplace and there can be absolutely no place for this kind of behavior at Uber — and anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired.”

In the post titled “Reflecting On One Very, Very Strange Year At Uber,” Fowler alleges that when she joined Uber, her boss sent a “string of messages over company chat” soliciting her for sex. She 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.”

Fowler said the management told her that despite this being a clear case of sexual harassment, “it was this man’s first offense, and that they wouldn't feel comfortable giving him anything other than a warning and a stern talking-to.”

After transferring teams, Fowler found that a lot more women had faced similar experiences during their time at Uber. The women approached the human resources department but were allegedly shut down again. Fowler was reportedly told that “no further action could or would be taken.”

Fowler also narrated other incidents of blatant misogyny in the post. After receiving a great performance review, she requested for a transfer of teams, which was blocked as her “performance review and score had been changed after the official reviews had been calibrated,” making her ineligible for a transfer.

Despite making repeated attempts to gauge the reason behind the negative review, Fowler said she was provided no straight answers. She alleges: "It turned out that keeping me on the team made my manager look good, and I overheard him boasting to the rest of the team that even though the rest of the teams were losing their women engineers left and right, he still had some on his team."

Uber has also faced criticism for not treating its drivers as regular employees, for alleged union-busting, reports of sexual abuse from customers and most recently, during the highly successful #DeleteUber campaign following President Trump’s travel ban.

Read the full text of Fowler’s blog post below:

Reflecting On One Very, Very Strange Year At Uber