Hundreds of women have sued Uber over alleged sexual assault from the drivers. About 550 women claim to have been battered, sexually assaulted, stalked, attacked, harassed, or falsely imprisoned when using the ride-sharing app.
According to Adam Slater, the founding partner of Slater Slater Schulman LLP, Uber promises its customers a safe ride home. No one should need to fear for their safety. Since 2015, however, many clients claim to have been abused.
Uber has been accused of responding slowly and inadequately despite being aware of the allegations since 2014. The consequences of their nonchalant attitude have been horrific.
Complainants feel that Uber has been prioritizing growth and profits over safety. It has been overlooking basic background checks to get new drivers fast. Previously, the company had disclosed that it got 3,824 complaints from 2019 to 2020 alone. The allegations ranged from non-consensual kissing to violent rape.
Uber doesn’t seem to have instituted any long-term solutions to the problem. Many complainants believe that it should have installed cameras in vehicles or created warning systems to alert passengers should the driver head off their designated route. Conducting robust background checks would help Uber get better drivers.
The three-strike policy is pretty problematic as well. It keeps predators in the business even after serious complaints.
Uber Doesn’t Agree
Despite the numerous complaints, Uber contests the claims. In their statement to Washington Examiner, Uber said, ‘Sexual assault is a significant crime, and the company takes every report seriously. According to them, nothing is more important than safety. Uber is creating survivor-centric policies. It is being transparent about significant incidents. Even though Uber is unwilling to comment on pending litigation, it promises to prioritize safety.
It added that the company claiming to represent over 550 women has only filed 12 cases at the moment. They haven’t provided essential incident details that would help identify any connection to Uber.
The platform has also availed a list of the safety features it has added on its platform. The ‘RideCheck’ feature is incredible. It uses GPS data and sensors to determine if the trip is going off course.
Even though the lawsuit targets Uber, other ride-sharing apps could learn from it. Lyft, for example, reported receiving 4,000 sexual assault reports from 2017 to 2018. The suit could also highlight the best ways to keep their clients safe.