An Uber engineer committed suicide, and his widow is blaming Uber’s stressful work culture as the cause, according to a new report from Carolyn Said at The San Francisco Chronicle.
Zecole Thomas told the Chronicle that her husband, Joseph Thomas, “wasn’t himself” after he joined Uber. He’d previously worked at LinkedIn and turned down an offer at Apple to join Uber. He shot himself in late August and died a few days later, according to the report.
Facebook messages seen by the Chronicle showed that Thomas said that Uber had “broken” him, but the company said they had no complaints on file from Thomas about extreme stress or racial discrimination. Uber denied the benefits claim, and the family of Thomas has since filed a claim before the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.
“No family should go through the unspeakable heartbreak the Thomas family has experienced,” an Uber spokesperson told the Chronicle. “Our prayers and thoughts are with them.” Uber declined to comment beyond the statement provided to the Chronicle.
It’s been a rough few months for Uber, which has been engulfed in multiple scandals, from allegations of a culture of sexism to a lawsuit brought against it by Google’s Waymo accusing it of stealing confidential information to use in its self-driving car program.