A lawsuit was filed against Uber Technologies Inc on Thursday by a woman, who alleged that top executives at the company improperly obtained her medical records after she was raped by a driver in New Delhi in 2014.
The lawsuit, filed in a California federal court, came as Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick announced a leave of absence this week.
Kalanick, under fire for fostering a culture of sexism and rule-breaking, is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit, according to Reuters.
The woman, a resident of Texas, sued Uber and Kalanick, two former senior executives for intrusion into private affairs, public disclosure of private facts and defamation, reported The New York Times.
She said in her suit that the three executives believed her rape, in 2014, may have been part of a conspiracy hatched by a competing ride-hailing company or a taxi company.
“Rape denial is just another form of the toxic gender discrimination that is endemic at Uber and ingrained in its culture,” said Douglas Wigdor, the lawyer representing the victim.
This month, Uber fired Eric Alexander, the president of business in the Asia Pacific, who had obtained medical records of the 26-year-old woman. Alexander was fired just as the company announced that it had fired 20 employees over the last few months for harassment, discrimination and inappropriate behaviour.
Last week Recode uncovered an email of Kalanick that he had sent out to his staff, offering rules in case they decided to have sex at a company outing in Miami in 2013. The email, titled: “URGENT, URGENT - READ THIS NOW OR ELSE!!!!!,” was sent out ahead of an event which came after the ride-hailing company rolled out its 50th global city.
“Do not have sex with another employee UNLESS a) you have asked that person for that privilege and they have responded with an emphatic ‘YES! I will have sex with you’ AND b) the two (or more) of you do not work in the same chain of command. Yes, that means that Travis will be celibate on this trip. #CEOLife #FML,” he wrote in the "don’ts" list.