“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”
No, this isn’t a fraternity party invite.
This is an excerpt from an email sent by the CEO of the most popular ride-hailing app in 108 countries.
As per a report in Recode, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick advised his staff on rules for having sex with fellow employees at company party in 2013.
The unusual set of instructions, called the "Miami letter" by inside sources, included guidelines to employees on their way to Florida's Shore Club to celebrate the startup's success.
The email was titled: "URGENT, URGENT - READ THIS NOW OR ELSE!!!!!," with Kalanick warning, "You better read this or I'll kick your a**."
"Have a great f***ing time. This is a celebration! We've all earned it," he wrote in the letter, before advising his employees to avoid getting arrested, vomiting and throwing kegs off tall buildings.
“Drugs and narcotics will not be tolerated unless you have the appropriate medicinal licensing,” Kalanick added.
While the email itself technically doesn’t contain anything controversial, the fact that it had to be sent out in the first place adds to accusations of sexism already surrounding the company — that an aggressive, alpha male bro culture made Uber an uncomfortable place for many women to work.
It all started in February after a former employee, Susan Fowler, revealed in a personal blog post that she faced sexual harassment and gender bias during her time at the company. Kalanick launched an internal company-wide investigation, resulting in more than 20 people getting fired.
The firings, according to Elizabeth Ames, senior vice president of programs, marketing and alliances at the Anita Borg Institute, a women’s tech advocacy group, are indicative of a "substantial" problem.
“I think that we are splitting hairs when we say, is this systemic or not,” Ames told USA Today. “215 submissions of issues and 115 found to have at least some validity to follow up, I think is substantial.”