Uber called its recent union deal ‘historic.’ A new complaint alleges it was actually against the law
Last year, Uber was found to have broken New York law by operating without a taxi cab operating permit. Now, three members of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, the same group that sued Uber, are accusing the company of “breaking laws and regulations and violating safety standards” when it came to hiring drivers and drivers’ conduct. The complaint is not yet complete, but it describes a pattern of conduct by the company, which had previously hired drivers on a trial basis.
“Uber’s ‘solutions’ to the problem were always to blame a victim and minimize the risk that a victim faced,” the complaint alleges.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Uber said: “We appreciate the effort of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance in working together to make Uber a safer place for drivers, and we have a long history of fighting for driver rights.”
It’s been a rough three years for Uber drivers, but the company has also faced criticism over allegations of sexual harassment, a high-profile lawsuit alleging it overcharged its drivers, and a recent union deal.
The New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) sued on October 27, 2017. The complaint was filed in federal court in Manhattan based on a class-action lawsuit brought by the City of New York, Department of Taxi & Limousine Services (TLS), and Uber, claiming that Uber violated the state’s “Fair Labor Standards Act,” the New York Labor Law and regulations enacted by the New York City Council and the Department of Investigation, to which Lyft was not included in the complaint. The complaint also claims that Uber illegally failed to provide minimum wage for its UberX drivers and engaged in wage theft.
The claims were denied. Uber also denied the suit, a fact that the New York Attorney General’s Office is considering further. Uber’s statement that it “accommodates” drivers’ complaints is also a fact that the AG’s office is considering.
The complaint alleges:
• Drivers were required to pay more for car insurance than the city’s standard rate despite being under the age of 18.
• Drivers were not paid overtime or minimum wage for hours worked in excess of eight hours.
• Drivers were not entitled to