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LOS ANGELES (CBSMiami) – Uber is shifting gears with a major policy change. They will now allow allegations of rape or assault to be tried in open court, rather than settled secretly in closed-door arbitration.

“We always want to try to resolve these claims in a way that is best for the survivor. That always has to be our perspective when it comes to sexual assault,” said Uber’s chief legal officer Tony West.

West said by the end of the year Uber will start to publicly report incidents of alleged sexual misconduct, he added that company expects those “numbers are going to be disturbing.”

Uber is also removing confidentiality agreements in settled cases. Uber says it will not lift nondisclosure agreements on people who agreed to remain quiet in past settlements with the company.

“We’re seeing great results as we’re moving forward to making sure we’re doing the right thing – putting transparency and accountability at the core of everything we do,” said West.

In a Dallas courthouse, an Uber driver is on trial for allegedly sexually assaulting a passenger in 2015 after following her into her home. In March, an Uber driver in Boston was charged with raping an inebriated passenger.

In an effort to rebuild its reputation, Uber brought in new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in August.

“We have no interest in closing down a person’s freedom to voice their experience or their concerns,” said Khosrowshahi.

The changes come one month after Uber announced it will run criminal background checks on its U.S. drivers and add a 911 button for emergencies.


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