Uber has found itself at the centre of a number of controversies this year – president Jeff Jones resigned in March, after only six months on the job, and last week, the company fired 20 employees as part of an ongoing investigation into sexual harassment.
In another development likely to embarrass the ride-sharing service, tech blog Recode has published details of a memo sent around by CEO Travis Kalanick, advising company staff on what to do if they wanted to have sex with fellow employees.
The memo, unofficially known as the ‘Miami letter’, was sent to around 400 staff before a company trip to Florida in 2013, in an email with the subject line “URGENT, URGENT – READ THIS NOW OR ELSE!!!!!”
The email was headed “you’d better read this or I’ll kick your ass”, and in the key section, Kalanick told employees:
“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.”
Other advice in the email included “do not throw kegs off of tall buildings” and “we do not have a budget to bail anyone out of jail, don’t be that guy.” There was also a “$200 puke charge” mentioned for those who vomited at the event.
Kalanick ordered an urgent investigation into sexual harassment at Uber earlier this year, after a blog post by a former employee went viral, accusing company brass of trying to cover it up, and punish her for speaking out.
At very least, this leaked email will be an embarrassment for the company that is actively trying to purge the image of its bro’d out start-up culture.
Photo: Jon Kopaloff / Getty.