What is Uber discrimination?
Uber, the ride-share company, has a long history of discrimination against drivers of color with these allegations outlined in a class action lawsuit filed in October of 2020.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of non-White drivers alleging racial discrimination. Specifically, the legal filing alleged that passenger reviews were used to fire drivers of color or those who speak with an accent.
Because of Uber’s star rating system and how it was misused, the case made the argument that “Uber’s reliance on customer ratings to determine driver termination constitutes race discrimination, as it is widely recognized that customer evaluations of workers are frequently racially biased.”
There are significant potential and actual instances of abuse for drivers based on their backgrounds, which customers can reference and exploit under the star-rating system that persists.
Although this lawsuit was dismissed in August of 2021 with a judge citing a lack of evidence to prove that the rating system has a harmful, racially discriminatory impact or that Uber intentionally discriminated against the lead plaintiff, this overriding fact remains:
The judge acknowledged the merits of the case are plausible and granted permission to file a new civil complaint.
Was a settlement reached?
There was a separate class action settlement of $10 million on behalf of software engineers of color and female software engineers.
The outcome of the lawsuit requires Uber to reform its employment practices to prevent future discrimination and harassment.
Under the lawsuit allegations, Uber was accused of violating local and federal laws by paying female, Latino, African American, and American Indian engineers less than their peers.
Furthermore, the engineers were allegedly subjected to harassment and a hostile work environment. The settlement was approved on April 19, 2018, and it required Uber to make substantial changes designed to prevent future discrimination and harassment, including an overhaul of its systems for pay and promotions, the institution of mandatory harassment training, the creation of a formal mentorship program, and three years of monitoring.
History of discrimination
In San Diego, California, a former Uber driver sued the ride-share company for racial discrimination.
“Uber has long known that relying on a system that depends on passenger evaluation of drivers is discriminatory,” the federal lawsuit stated in its request to order Uber to halt using passenger evaluations when deciding whether to dismiss drivers. “Uber’s use of this system to determine driver terminations constitutes race discrimination, as it is widely recognized that customer evaluations of workers are frequently racially biased. Indeed, Uber itself has recognized the racial bias of its own customers.”
Uber denied the allegations, stating that “ridesharing has greatly reduced bias for both drivers and riders, who now have fairer, more equitable access to work and transportation than ever before.”
In the lawsuit, Thomas Liu, an Asian man who stated he speaks with a slight accent, said he was fired after his star rating fell below 4.6.
“He noticed riders [canceling] ride requests after he had already accepted the ride and the rider was able to view his picture,” the lawsuit stated. “He also experienced riders asking where he was from in an unfriendly way.”
How does Uber handle discrimination claims?
The ride-share app’s website does provide an option to seek help for employees who allege discrimination.
It states: “We encourage employees who believe they, or other employees, have been subjected to discrimination to notify their manager, Uber’s People Team or the Integrity Helpline. We do not tolerate retaliation against anyone who raises genuine concerns in good faith or who participates in an investigation.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean all or many discriminatory incidents are ever reported.
What are your rights in a potential lawsuit?
Every state has a different statute of limitations for filing a civil lawsuit.
Typically, you have between two to five years to file a lawsuit.
That means the clock is ticking and you need to hire an attorney with the experience to handle ride-share discriminatory practices.
Don’t hesitate. Act now and get the legal expertise you need on your side.
At Mokaram Law Firm, our team of highly trained Houston personal injury attorneys is dedicated to providing you with outstanding support and professionalism. Resolving complex legal issues can be difficult, especially in discrimination cases.
We are here to ease your burden and seamlessly guide you through the process. You don’t have to go through this alone. Contact us today at (281) 609-9224 and find out how we can help ease your anxiety and get the compensation you deserve.
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