Tag Archives: Sharecropper Economy

Judge Shreds Uber; Says Company Can’t Prove Riders Are Giving Up Right To Sue

by Chris Morran, Consumerist

With regard to the Uber app, [U.S. District Court Judge Ned] Rakoff notes that there is no requirement for the new user to even check off a box that they read the terms of service; one could easily finalize their registration without reading, or even knowing about, these terms — let alone the restrictive arbitration clause. Read More ›

Uber And Lyft Have Devastated L.A.’s Taxi Industry, City Records Show

by Laura J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times

uber lyft sidecar vehicle

Since the ride-hailing services began operating in Southern California three years ago, the number of L.A. taxi trips arranged in advance has fallen by 42%, according to city records, and the total number of trips has plummeted by nearly 30%. … The decline mirrors what’s happening across the country. … In San Francisco, the corporate home of both Uber and Lyft, the number of trips taken per taxi dropped by more than two-thirds over a two-year period. Read More ›

Lyft Drivers, If Employees, Owed Millions More – Court Documents

by Dan Levine and Heather Somerville, Reuters

Lyft car on city street

Drivers who worked for ride-hailing service Lyft in California during the past four years would have been entitled to an estimated $126 million in expense reimbursements had they been employees rather than contractors, court documents show. … The judge asked for the estimates as part of his oversight of a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit filed by California drivers. … Lyft agreed to settle the class-action lawsuit in January. Under the proposed deal, Lyft would pay $12.25 million, with drivers receiving an average of $56 each after attorneys’ fees and other expenses, documents show. Read More ›

Garcetti Pushes Fingerprint-Based Background Checks For Uber And Lyft Drivers

by Laura J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times

Last year, The Times reported that four Uber drivers ticketed by [Los Angeles] airport police had criminal histories that would have barred them from becoming city taxi drivers. Last year, the top prosecutors for Los Angeles and San Francisco identified 25 Uber drivers with convictions for murder, assault, driving under the influence and other offenses. That information emerged as part of a lawsuit filed by the cities that alleges Uber misled consumers over background checks. Read More ›

Stolen Uber Accounts Worth More Than Stolen Credit Cards

by Harriet Taylor, CNBC

Uber map on smartphone

Uber, PayPal and even Netflix accounts have become much more valuable to criminals, as evidenced by the price these stolen identifiers now fetch on the so-called “deep Web,” according to security company Trend Micro. … A quick search for tweets with the hashtag #uberaccounthacked reveals a number of complaints related to “ghost rides,” in which users claim their Uber accounts have been charged for rides they did not take. These are often in far flung locations across the globe. Read More ›

In Reversal, Some Drivers Ditching Uber And Lyft For Cabs

by Jon Brooks, KQED

Taxi on Lombard Street

[One taxi driver] drove on the side for both Uber and Lyft for about a year, but stopped around seven or eight months ago. The main reason: the extra cost and “wear and tear” of using his own car to do business. … Customers became angry at the inflated fares they had to pay during a surge pricing period and slammed [the driver’s] car door so hard he had to have his automatic windows repaired. But hadn’t those customers agreed to accept the surge price when they ordered the ride? “[Passengers] are still mad, even though they know in advance,” he said. Read More ›

Uber Drivers Get Big Boost In Lawsuit Against Company

by Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle

Uber logo

U.S. District Judge Edward Chen ruled that even drivers who accepted mandatory arbitration in their Uber contract should be included in the [class-action suit], saying that clause was unenforceable. That means the majority of the 160,000 people who have ever driven for Uber in California are now part of the class. … If the drivers win, [their lawyer] has said she’ll next seek a nationwide class-action. … The Uber class-action is the furthest along of a bevy of lawsuits against companies such as Lyft, Postmates, Instacart, Caviar and Handy in which gig workers are seeking the protections and rights of employees. Read More ›

Uber Sued Over Alleged Rapes By Drivers

by Marisa Kendall, The Recorder, San Francisco

“Unfortunately, despite its self-proclaimed ‘commitment to safety,’ opening the Uber app and setting the pick-up location has proven to be the modern day equivalent of electronic hitchhiking,” the lawyers wrote. “Buyer beware—we all know how those horror movies end.” … The two assaults are part of a pattern of “similarly heinous, but avoidable attacks,” the Jane Does’ lawyers wrote. They claim more than 30 sexual assaults by Uber drivers against passengers have been reported in the media over the past two years.
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Uber Loses Bid To Force Arbitration On California Driver

by Joel Rosenblatt, Bloomberg

Uber logo

Uber is appealing the San Francisco federal court decision in a case that might force the startup to change its business model and erode its $50 billion valuation. … “I’m not going to fly in the face of a stark inconsistency in order to massage this into arbitrability,” [Judge Ernest Goldsmith] told lawyers during a hearing Monday. … “I can’t imagine that they’re going to continue with a contract like this,” Goldsmith said, referring to Uber. “It’s not a close case. It starts with the clearest contradictory language and just goes on and on and on.” Read More ›

Uber Drivers Granted Class-Action Status In Legal Battle

by Tracey Lien, Los Angeles Times

Uber logo

Uber now stands to lose far more than if the case had proceeded as a suit involving only three plaintiffs. In addition to potentially being on the hook for back wages, sick leave, expenses and benefits, the company could be ordered to pay gratuities owed to thousands of former drivers. “We’re talking about millions of dollars,” said Lonnie Giamela of labor and employment firm Fisher & Phillips. And that doesn’t even touch on what a loss would mean for Uber’s independent contractor-reliant business model, which has earned the company a $50-billion valuation. Read More ›

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