Susan Fowler Rigetti hires employment law firm in response to Uber’s actions

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Update 11:25 AM PT: An Uber spokesperson provided the following statement regarding the separate firm it retained aside from Holder’s:

The law firm Perkins Coie is looking into the specific allegations raised by Susan. They will report into Eric Holder, who is responsible for the overall investigation into Uber’s workplace practices. To be clear: they are investigating Susan’s claims, not Susan personally.

Former Uber employee Susan Fowler Rigetti, whose blog post detailing her experiences of sexual harassment and discriminatory behavior at the ride-hailing company, said Thursday on Twitter that she has hired California employment attorneys Baker, Curtis & Schwartz.

Her decision to retain legal counsel follows Uber’s decision to reference her by name in emails to customers looking to delete their account, and efforts she says in the tweet the company has undertaken via a law firm to investigate her personally, separate from the firm used by former Attorney General Eric Holder in his Uber-sponsored investigation into the company and its HR practices.

Rigetti said in a series of preceding tweets that she has heard from friends and connections who say they’ve been contacted with questions about “personal and intimate info,” though at the time she said she wasn’t sure who was responsible for these inquiries.

Uber said at the time that it was not responsible for these queries of her contacts. “Uber is in no way involved,” a spokesperson told Recode. “This behavior is wrong.”

Uber had also been identifying Fowler in emailed responses to customers who are deleting their account, upon being told specifically by the user in response to a general request for feedback that her situation was the reason why they’ve decided to go, though it says it stopped circulating those emails after a brief period.

Following Fowler Rigetti’s explosive initial blog post, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick sent a company-wide memo noting that the company would be investigating the claims and its culture, with Holder  and Tammy Albarran of law firm Covington & Burling leading the investigation. Board member Arianna Huffington and Uber head of HR Liane Hornsey would also be involved.

TechCrunch has contacted Uber and the law firm retained by Rigetti for comment, and we’ll continue to update this story if they provide any additional information.

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