Uber dealt with harassment class action lawsuit

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In a new complaint seeking class action status, two women - who are maintaining anonymity - are asking a court to force the $69 billion ride-hail company to change many of its driver screening and other practices on behalf of all USA riders who were "subject to rape, sexual assault or gender-motivated violence or harassment by their Uber driver in the last four years".

Those newly banned drivers had passed both Uber and Lyft's company screenings.

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. Female drivers also said that passengers had sexually harassed them.

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.

Wigdor brought a similar lawsuit on behalf of two women in 2015, which was later settled.

The suit is the latest blow in a year of controversies for Uber, including allegations of rampant sexual harassment in its workplace.

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It says Uber has skirted regulators by classifying itself as a technology company but it is essentially a taxi company with drivers that should be considered employees.

A spokesperson for Uber responded to the lawsuit, telling us, "Uber received this complaint today and we are in the process of reviewing it".

Uber has been beleaguered by dozens of issues over the a year ago.

Tuesday's lawsuit says Uber has made the profit-motivated decision to "look the other way" when it hires and supervises drivers. Uber also settled that suit, but the issue was reignited last spring after it was alleged that Uber executives obtained and mishandled her medical records. In June, Uber's board of directors forced CEO Travis Kalanick to resign.

The complaint describes several actions Uber could have taken to prevent assault, including barring registered sex offenders from driving on Uber permanently; requiring in-person screenings for drivers; installing video surveillance in Ubers; performing criminal background checks every six months; requiring drivers to tell Uber within 24 hours if they are indicted or charged with any felony involving violence or issued a restraining order related to domestic violence; and a host of other potential solutions.

This isn't the first time Uber has received criticism that its background checks are too lax. In addition to allegations raised by the plaintiffs and news reports of incidents in various cities and states around the country, the lawsuit cites complaints highlighted over social media through the #MeToo campaign, which raises awareness of sexual harassment and its prevalence in workplaces and other facets of life.

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