Rideshare Companies Eliminate Forced Arbitration for Sexual Misconduct Claims
Rideshare companies Uber and Lyft recently announced they are eliminating forced arbitration agreements for riders, drivers, and employees who make sexual assault or harassment claims against the company.
The rideshare companies recently decided to shelve their policies of requiring arbitration for riders alleging sexual harassment or assault by their drivers as a result of pressure from critics. The decision was the latest move to improve their brand image, which suffered as a result of several scandals over the past year that caused public outcry and started a wave of protest, urging riders to #DeleteUber.
The announcement means that riders who have been victimized by their Uber or Lyft drivers can pursue their claims with a public lawsuit. Customers previously had to consent to a terms-of-service agreement that required them to resolve any dispute with the company through a private arbitration hearing, rather than in open court.
The practice of forcing disputes into private arbitration is common among larger companies looking to keep claims out of the public eye. Since forced arbitration claims are private, critics say that bad behavior by drivers is allowed to continue, perpetuating the cycle.
In addition to the new rule, Uber also removed a clause requiring people who settle claims with the company to sign a nondisclosure agreement that would forbid them from speaking about their experience.
After the initial announcement by Uber, rival company Lyft followed suit, claiming it also did away with the arbitration clause and the nondisclosure agreement.
Arbitration Claims Are Only One Way to Solve the Problem
While the arbitration attorneys at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. believe eliminating forced arbitration is a step in the right direction, it still does not address the root problem – namely, drivers violating their riders with sexual harassment or violent conduct and rideshare companies’ failure to properly vet drivers before allowing them to pick up passengers.
In addition, Uber and Lyft still have not removed the provisions prohibiting riders from bringing class actions. In a class action, a plaintiff sues a defendant or a number of defendants on behalf of a group, or class, of absent parties. Class action lawsuits, of course, often result in changes to company policies that harm consumers.
Uber and Lyft Customers May Have Valid Claims
If you have been the victim of a sexual crime or assault by a rideshare driver for a company such as Uber or Lyft, or if you have been involved in a car crash where the driver was negligent, the attorneys at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. are here to help.
Speak with a Personal Injury Lawyer at DKR Today
While you may not be able to bring a class action claim, you certainly can bring an individual claim for money damages. Please contact us for a free case evaluation, and you will receive the personal attention of one of our attorneys immediately.
DKR maintains offices in Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, West Palm Beach and Miami, and our attorneys travel regularly for client cases. Contact us to learn more about your rights and options. Translations services are available.