Another lawsuit alleging rape has been filed against Uber.
Uber (Private:UBER) faces a US class-action lawsuit from riders who allege they were subject to sexual assault or gender-based violence by Uber drivers. As alleged, the recent #MeToo campaign has exposed the heinous acts that female riders have been forced to endure during Uber rides. But with its growth, the company has come under fire for numerous allegations of drivers committing sexual assaults.
The plaintiffs claim that Uber's inadequate screening is exacerbated by the company "targeting" intoxicated passengers by advertising Uber as a life-saving option for riders who are too drunk to drive. The women claim that Uber has engaged in "fraudulent" and unlawful conduct that misled them believing Uber drivers would safely transport them. Nothing meaningful has been done to make rides safer for passengers - especially women.
The latest lawsuit argues Uber's screenings for drivers only goes back seven years, reports Recode, mostly because the system Uber uses relies primarily on credit reporting systems.
The suit includes information from an October story published in The Washington Post that said almost 15 percent of new ride-hail drivers in Maryland had been dismissed in the preceding six months for failing to meet state regulators' screening standards; of 3,503 applicants dismissed, 460 were booted for disqualifying criminal histories.
But the question at the heart of this new case is one that Uber has been navigating since its inception: Are its background checks thorough enough? Maryland does not track specific crimes committed by drivers.
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It says the firm has resisted changes, such as more stringent background checks, that would improve passenger safety.
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. Reports of alleged sexual assaults by Uber drivers make news headlines several times a month. In fact, the state found that 51 of those drivers who were rejected were sex offenders and 352 of them had been accused of incidents related to "sex, abuse and exploitation". "These allegations are important to us and we take them very seriously".
A new class- action lawsuit filed in California alleges ride-hail giant Uber has created a system giving perpetrators of sexual assault, sexual harassment and physical violence access to thousands of "vulnerable victims" nationwide since it launched 2010.
"Court orders are needed to force change that Uber should have taken voluntarily", it says. 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.
Uber, along with Lyft, in fact left Austin in 2015 after the city council approved an ordinance that required the companies to use fingerprint-based background checks for their drivers.
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".