Image Source: The Verge
In the US, 550 women are suing Uber on the grounds that they were victimized by drivers who utilized the ride-hailing service.
In the case, Uber drivers are accused of “kidnapping, sexually assaulting, sexually beating, raping, wrongfully imprisoning, stalking, tormenting, or otherwise attacking women passengers.”
The case was brought before the San Francisco County Superior Court on Wednesday. Sexual assault is a terrible crime, and we treat every allegation seriously, an Uber official told the BBC.
The case, filed by attorneys at the law firm Slater Slater Schulman, claims that the sexual assaults took place in “many states.” It further mentioned that “research” is being done on at least 150 other possible examples.
The lawsuit claims that as early as 2014, Uber became aware that some of its drivers were raping and sexually assaulting female passengers. However, the complaint claims that the company prioritized “customer safety over expansion.”
Uber’s second US Safety Report, which was released last month, said that 998 instances of sexual assault, including 141 rape accusations, were filed in 2020. In addition, the company’s study received 3,824 reports of the five most serious types of sexual assault between 2019 and 2020. The first safety report from the business, which covers incidents from 2017 to 2018, contained 5,981 reports of sexual assault.
Rape and “non-consensual sexual penetration,” also known as “non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part,” are the most severe sexual assaults listed by Uber.
These allegations are very serious in nature. The fact that 550 women have come forward is amazing. But unfortunately, the incident may be seen as another piece of evidence of Uber’s deplorable workplace culture, which only makes it worse for the company.
On Monday, a former Uber executive made a number of negligence-related accusations. In addition, he revealed details, including the existence of a “kill switch” that Uber might trigger in the case of law enforcement involvement in order to prevent them from obtaining information.
According to Mark MacGann, the stolen data highlighted a recurring theme: Uber put growth first. In this case, it is also claimed that the company purposely hid the fact that Uber drivers had sexually assaulted women. In other words, Uber represented that its rides were secure in public even though it was aware of a problem.
According to the lawsuit, the company failed to adequately investigate its drivers’ backgrounds. Uber regrets its earlier conduct and asserts that things have changed since.
Investors are worried that clients may start seeking elsewhere for their next ride, given all the negative press.