More than 550 women have filed lawsuits against Uber in the United States, alleging that drivers sexually assaulted them while they were riding. The class action was filed Wednesday in San Francisco Supreme Court by law firm Slater Slater-Schulman, alleging that Uber drivers have imprisoned, sexually assaulted, raped or harassed Uber passengers on numerous occasions. Those involved are demanding compensation and a jury trial, and will also investigate the type of negligence that could lead to Uber’s hiring of sexual predators without a background check, he writes Take Crunch.
The lawsuit was filed after the company released its second safety report in the US last month, which revealed 998 sexual assaults, including 141 rapes, reported in 2020 alone. Between 2019 and 2020, Uber received 3,824 reports of the five most serious categories of sexual harassment.
The company’s first security report, detailing incidents between 2017 and 2018, reported nearly 6,000 such reports.
According to the law firm, Uber has intentionally hidden the fact that its drivers have been regularly abusing women since 2014. The company has also been accused of providing a platform for sexual predators for too long by not conducting adequate background checks on its drivers. According to the law firm, the company does not report any crimes to law enforcement, and even after thousands of reported cases, it has not installed cameras in cars.
So far, 550 women have applied to join the class action lawsuit in Slater-Schulman, but the law firm says another 150 women are still under active investigation. Adam Slater, one of the law firm’s founding partners, commented on the case:
Uber’s business model is built entirely around getting people home safely, but passenger safety has never been their primary concern. For them, growth comes first at the expense of passenger welfare. Although the company has acknowledged the sexual harassment crisis in recent years, the actual response has been slow and inadequate, and we are now witnessing its consequences.
Law firm members also set a precedent for how the company should handle such situations from recently leaked Uber files. When an Uber driver raped a 25-year-old passenger in Delhi in 2014, the company decided to blame the situation on faulty background checks in India. According to the plaintiffs Travis Kalanick The former CEO made a deliberate decision to hire drivers without doing background checks. The current CEO of Uber, Dara Khosrowshahi According to the bureau, he continued this policy when he took over the company in August 2017.
Incidentally, Uber has released several security features in recent years, including an emergency assistance button that records in-vehicle audio and lets a relative know where location sharing is used. The application has also been expanded with a function that detects if the driver is deviating from the road or if the ride is stopped without reaching the destination. An Uber spokesperson said sexual harassment is a heinous crime and that every report is taken seriously.
Nothing is more important than safety, which is why Uber has designed new security features and ensured transparency on serious matters like this.