Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft prove time and again that they have little concern for the safety of their riders. It should be no surprise then, that these companies show a similar attitude towards their drivers. Female drivers experience harassment on a regular basis. According to the drivers who report these incidents, Uber and Lyft do little to nothing in such cases.
Uber and Lyft built their businesses building fleets of citizen drivers looking to make some money on the side. As the apps grew, these billion dollar companies slashed driver wages in order to maximize revenues. Drivers had little recourse, but a recent judgement in California brings the employment of drivers by Lyft and Uber under scrutiny.
U.S. District Judge Edward Chen, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that the treatment of drivers as independent contractors by rather than employees, could significantly harm competition. This ruling means that Uber Technologies Inc’s approach to paying drivers may violate California antitrust law.
The ruling shows that Livery service Diva Limousine Ltd adequately alleged Uber’s driver classification allowed it to offer rides cheaper than competitors. In doing so, Uber violated “the policy or spirit” of California law. This is a major development in an industry that is still in its infancy.
Reports of drivers making as little as $3.75 an hour after expenses only add insult to injury. The drivers and passengers are what allowed Uber and Lyft to become the successful businesses they are today. While the script from Lyft and Uber is that they care about their drivers and riders, their behavior seems to dictate the cold truth. Stock prices are what is really important. Rider and driver safety and well being is addressed only as much as necessary.