Tag Archives: Sharecropper Economy

Uber Unleashes Lobbyists In California To Reshape Driver Rules

by Alison Vekshin, Bloomberg

Uber has spent almost a million dollars since 2013 on lobbyists in California. … Lyft, also based in San Francisco, has spent $362,000 on lobbying the legislature since 2013. … Some lawmakers say Uber is skirting rules that apply to similar businesses. “In California, we allow them to operate for free while we require many other businesses to pay for permits, franchising fees and licenses,” said Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, the sole vote against Low’s measure in May. “It’s beyond ridiculous what they’re getting away with.” Read More ›

Will Uber Drivers Get Class-Action Status For Employment Case?

by Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle

uber exec toys with car and cash

The case’s outcome also looms over other on-demand companies because workers deemed employees have mandates on wages and benefits that contractors do not. If the drivers win class-action status and ultimately prevail, Uber would be faced with a sweeping overhaul of its relationship with drivers that would “radically change” the app and challenge Uber’s business model. Read More ›

Facing Regulatory Roadblocks, Uber Ramps Up Its Lobbying In California

by Chris Kirkham and Tracey Lien, Los Angeles Times

uber exec toys with car and cash

Uber now spends more on lobbyists in California than Wal-Mart, Bank of America or Wells Fargo … in the top 3% of companies and organizations. … So far in 2015, Uber has paid about $200,000 to lobbyists. That’s more than 10 times the amount spent by the limousine industry and nearly four times greater than the taxi industry’s trade group. … A PUC administrative law judge decided earlier this month that Uber should be fined $7.3 million and suspended from operating in California. Read More ›

Uber Should Be Suspended In California And Fined $7.3 Million, Judge Says

by Laura J. Nelson, Andrea Chang and Paresh Dave, Los Angeles Times

Uber — plagued by problems with regulators, drivers and taxi unions around the world — took a big blow in its home state Wednesday when an administrative judge recommended that the ride-sharing giant be fined $7.3 million and be suspended from operating in California. In her decision, chief administrative law judge Karen V. Clopton of the California Public Utilities Commission contended that Uber has not complied with state laws designed to ensure that drivers are doling out rides fairly to all passengers. Read More ›

Uber Data Collection Changes Should Be Barred, Privacy Group Urges

by Natasha Singer and Mike Isaac, The New York Times

A leading privacy rights group wants the Federal Trade Commission to prohibit Uber from instituting changes to its privacy policy that the group says will allow the ride-hailing app to collect more detailed data about customers’ whereabouts and use their contact lists to send their friends promotional pitches. … Uber’s reputation is still recovering from public censure last year after allegations surfaced that company employees had mishandled trip data about individual consumers to track their locations, and inappropriately shared an internal tool — colloquially known as “God view” — that showed users taking trips in real time. Read More ›

Uber Is Facing A Potentially Huge Blow In California

by Ben Geier, Fortune

Uber logo

In a decision that has the potential to alter — and perhaps cripple — Uber’s business model, the California Labor Commission has ruled that drivers for the ride-hailing service are employees of the company rather than independent contractors. Right now, as Business Insider notes, Uber faces virtually no expenses for the more than one million drivers who give rides using the service. If the ruling holds, though, all of those people become employees of the company, and that exposes Uber to such costs as Social Security, workers’ compensation, and unemployment insurance. Read More ›

Ridesharing Drivers Often Stuck In Insurance Limbo

by Alice Holbrook, NerdWallet

Uber executives’ access to customer ride logs came under scrutiny last year, when a company manager referenced a reporter’s log during an interview. Some users were also disturbed by Uber’s use of ride logs to compile a study on customer hookups in 2012. Critics complain that the bill would make essential functions of TNCs, like using GPS to locate passengers, illegal. But [Richard Holober, executive director of the Consumer Federation of California] likens the regulations to medical privacy laws. “Even in a hospital, not just everyone is allowed to look at your medical records.” Read More ›

Uber: Disability Laws Don’t Apply To Us

by Nina Strochlic, The Daily Beast

Uber logo

In three ADA-related cases over the past eight months, in California, Texas, and Arizona, Uber has been slammed with lawsuits that allege the company discriminates against blind and wheelchair-using passengers. The suits demand Uber abide by the ADA, but Uber claims that because it’s a technology company, not a transportation service, it doesn’t fall under the ADA’s jurisdiction. … The disability-rights movement is urging the courts and lawmakers to end the impunity. Read More ›

AB 886 (Chau) Protects Uber Passenger Privacy

SACRAMENTO – Assembly Bill 886 (Chau, D-Monterey Park) will protect the sensitive personal information and credit card records of passengers using transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber. Read More ›

Uber’s Business Model Could Change Your Work

by Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times

uber exec toys with car and cash

The rise of Uber-like jobs is the logical culmination of an economic and tech system that holds efficiency as its paramount virtue. … “Can you imagine if this turns into a Mechanical Turk economy, where everyone is doing piecework at all odd hours, and no one knows when the next job will come, and how much it will pay? What kind of private lives can we possibly have, what kind of relationships, what kind of families?” said Robert B. Reich, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley who was the secretary of labor during the Clinton administration. Read More ›