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Eric Risberg / AP

Two female former Uber engineers have filed complaints against the company alleging they were paid less than men in similar jobs and passed over for promotions, according to documents obtained by The Information. The complaints were filed with the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, through the Private Attorneys General Act — the first step toward a public lawsuit, as The Information notes.

Why it matters: The complaints are filed under a law that allows them to circumvent their employment contracts' arbitration clauses, which have become a controversial practice many argue strip employees of their rights. Susan Fowler, the former Uber engineer whose blog post last February set off an investigation at the company, has filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court arguing these clauses should be banned. Uber declined to comment on the complaints, but did point out that in August, Uber updated its contracts to allow employees to opt out of mandatory arbitration, and also recently worked to adjust employee salaries

Troubled division: The two women who filed the complaints worked as site reliability engineers — the same engineering division where Fowler worked.

Update, Oct. 25: On Tuesday, the two women and a current female Uber engineer filed a lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court against the ride-hailing company, outlining much of the same gender pay discrimination claims, as The Recorder first noticed. Workers can file a formal lawsuit under the Private Attorneys General Act after they've filed a complaint with the Labor and Workforce Development Agency and the agency and employer do not take action within 65 days.

The story has been updated to include the newly filed lawsuit, as well as to clarify the changes in Uber's employment contracts.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.

Biden Cabinet confirmation schedule: When to watch hearings

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

The first hearings for President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet nominations begin on Tuesday, with testimony from his picks to lead the departments of State, Homeland and Defense.

Why it matters: It's been a slow start for a process that usually takes place days or weeks earlier for incoming presidents. The first slate of nominees will appear on Tuesday before a Republican-controlled Senate, but that will change once the new Democratic senators-elect from Georgia are sworn in.