More than 500 women in the US are suing Uber Technologies Inc. on the grounds that drivers on the app abused them.
Women were “kidnapped, sexually abused, sexually beaten, raped, wrongfully imprisoned, stalked, harassed or otherwise harmed” in their rides, according to the complaint, which was filed by Slater, Slater, Schulman LLP in San Francisco. It asserts that since 2014, Uber has been aware of sexual misbehaviour by some of its drivers, including rape.
Managing accusations of misbehaviour on the ride-sharing app has always been a challenge for Uber. In its second safety report, which was just two weeks old, the firm said that in 2019 and 2020, it got 3,824 reports of the five most serious types of sexual assault, ranging from “non-consensual kissing of a nonsexual body part” to “non-consensual sexual penetration”.
Adam Slater, a partner at Slater Slater Schulman, stated: “The firm has acknowledged this sexual assault epidemic in recent years, but its real reaction has been delayed and insufficient, with tragic results.” There is a lot more Uber could be doing to safeguard its users, like installing cameras to prevent assaults, doing thorough background checks on all of its drivers, and developing a method to alert users when a driver veers off the path to a specific location. At least 150 other instances are being looked into by the law firm.
Women who claim to have been sexually assaulted by drivers have filed multiple lawsuits against Uber. In 2018, it consented to settle a class action lawsuit brought by two women who claimed they had been exploited by drunk drivers. Since its drivers are independent contractors rather than employees, Uber has long defended its position by saying that it cannot be held liable for their actions. In a recent safety report, Uber claimed to undertake thorough background checks on drivers before and throughout their employment with the firm.