The proposed class-action also lists a number of stories about other women accosted by Uber drivers, some of whom shared these details via Twitter under the hashtag #metoo, which is created to allow women to voice their stories of sexual assault and harassment. "Period." The ride sharing company said the specifics of the allegations are being reviewed. The women further claim the company generally misrepresented the safety of taking an Uber.
It asks the court for unspecified damages to compensate the women, and also seeks court-ordered safety measures including fingerprint background checks for drivers and a panic button on the Uber app that would alert the company and authorities to safety problems.
As an example of the failings of Uber's background checks, the complaint cites the more than 8,000 drivers in MA who were pulled off the road after the state government chose to introduce more stringent screenings and reviewed the records of the 71,000 people who drove on Uber or Lyft.
Concerns about Uber's screening procedures for drivers have dogged the company for a number of years.
Reviews of Uber driver applications by two USA states, Maryland and MA, have led to rejections of thousands more applications than under Uber's own system. According to the suit, the company through which Uber runs background checks is more cursory and only goes back seven years into an applicants history. The other was raped by an Uber driver in her apartment in Miami. 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.
But this complaint wants to re-litigate both those issues.
The suit was filed by Wigdor LLP, a NY law firm that has previously represented women who were allegedly victims of sexual violence at the hands of Uber drivers.
The complaint argues that the victims' claims are not affected by arbitration clauses in Uber's terms of service with riders, because under California Supreme Court decisions, "Uber can not cause consumers to waive a statutory right to seek public injunctive relief in any forum". That woman is now suing the company for invasion of privacy. Maryland, too, has conducted background checks on behalf Uber and Lyft and found that not all drivers pass its standards. Uber says the groups have helped it train 150 customer service agents for a team to deal with sexual assault reports.