Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Uber dealt with harassment class action lawsuit

Uber dealt with harassment class action lawsuit

Uber said it was reviewing the lawsuit, according to The Washington Post.

The complaint describes several actions Uber could have taken to prevent assault, including barring registered sex offenders from driving on Uber permanently; requiring in-person screenings for drivers; installing video surveillance in Ubers; performing criminal background checks every six months; requiring drivers to tell Uber within 24 hours if they are indicted or charged with any felony involving violence or issued a restraining order related to domestic violence; and a host of other potential solutions.

A class-action lawsuit in California alleges Uber - through perceived driver screening failures - created an environment conducive to sexual assault, harassment and violence.

The lawsuit was filed by the NY firm Wigdor LLP, which is suing Uber in a separate case on behalf of a woman who was raped by an Uber driver in India.

"Instead, over the last seven years, Uber has done everything possible to continue using low-priced, woefully inadequate background checks on drivers and has failed to monitor drivers for any violent or inappropriate conduct after they are hired". It alleges that Uber markets to young women traveling alone and puts profits over their safety.

Uber has argued that the screening standards applied in Maryland - where thousands of drivers have been rejected upon review since December 2015 - are outdated, overly broad and fail to adhere to a legal standard established by the state Public Service Commission past year. Uber has long argued that it's not a transportation provider and its drivers are not employees and so should not be subject to the same requirements. That's also the case for its fight to be regulated as a technology company.

Reviews of Uber driver applications by two U.S. states, Maryland and MA, have led to rejections of thousands more applications than under Uber's own system.

The plaintiffs in the case call for more transparency from Uber's new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who recently overhauled the company's values to include: "We do the right thing".

In one instance, as Recode first revealed, a former executive got a hold of the medical files of a woman who was raped by her Uber driver in New Delhi, India. That woman is now suing the company for invasion of privacy.

It cites the #MeToo campaign, which emerged on social media following the harassment charges made by numerous women against film mogul Harvey Weinstein, for prompting "hundreds, if not thousands" of female passengers to implicate Uber drivers in tweets reporting sexual assaults.

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