Uber Agrees to Settle Suit Amidst Protests
In order to bring an end to a lawsuit filed against the company in California, Uber Technologies Inc. decided to make a settlement worth $25 million. According to prosecutors in San Francisco and Los Angeles, the civil lawsuit accused the ride-sharing firm of misleading customers about the strength and reliability of the background checks carried out by the company for its drivers. In the statements made by the district attorneys in Los Angeles and San Francisco, Uber has to pay $10 million of the settlement within 60 days and if the company complies with the terms of the agreement outlined for two years, they will not have to pay the remaining $15 million.
George Gascon, the San Francisco District Attorney said that this settlement is basically a message for all new startups and businesses that in their hurry to gain traction in the market, they should not ignore the laws that have been specifically designed for protecting consumers. The settlement was welcomed by Uber and the company stated that they were eager to put this entire case behind them so they could once again direct their complete focus on serving drivers and riders across California. The two district attorneys had filed the case against Uber in December 2014 and they had alleged that the ride-sharing company had misled its customers about the strength and extent of the background checks it runs on drivers.
It was also contended by the civil complaint that Uber drivers don’t obtain authorization for working at the airport. Furthermore, they also charged $4 extra in San Francisco from all riders traveling to the airport even though they didn’t pay a single dime to the airport. As per the agreement, Uber is now allowed to make any misleading or untrue statements about the background checks it performs and also from charging extra for airports. Moreover, it is also the job of the company to ensure that the fare calculations it uses are according to the state measurement standards.
Uber announced that a number of changes had already been implemented by the company, which included not referring to itself as ‘the safest ride on the road’ and not using the term ‘the golden standard’ for its background checks. In other news of the company, taxi drivers in Chile carried out a protest against the ride-sharing service as it was indicated by authorities that they were thinking about more regulatory oversight for dealing with such services.
The taxi drivers blocked an avenue in downtown Santiago and this is only one of the various demonstrations being carried out against the company in different areas around the globe. Critics have said that Uber skirts labor laws, is unsafe and also reduces wages. A similar protest against Uber had been carried out on Wednesday in Cordoba, Argentina and an Uber vehicle had also been torched by four men in March in Nairobi, Kenya. In recent months, huge protests against Uber have also taken place in France, Mexico, Brazil and a number of other nations.