New Report Shows Drivers of Color Are Being Fired by Uber and Lyft at Alarming Rates
A new report finds rideshare drivers of color are being fired without warning.
NBC News reported two-thirds of Uber and Lyft drivers in California have had their app deactivated. According to a driver’s union called Asian Law Caucus and Rideshare Drivers United, the deactivation affected people of color the most. Thirty percent of drivers said they weren’t given an explanation of why they were fired, and 40% were told the app received customer complaints. Asian Law Caucus attorney Winnie Kao said being fired by an app is ridiculous.
“This reality is that now app-based drivers can be fired, not even by a human being, but just by an app,” Kao said. “That you can wake up one day and try to turn on the app to go to work, and you’re just blocked. Hearing the stories from the drivers about that was really troubling and really disturbing.”
James Jordan, who worked for Uber for over five years in Los Angeles, found his account was permanently deactivated last March. With Uber being his only source of income, the single father of five suddenly had to find a new job.
“I had done more than 27,000 rides,” Jordan told Wired. “Then in one week or 10 days, I got more complaints than I had within those five and a half years.” The LA resident claimed a customer complained that Jordan tried to hit her with his car. Trying to prove his innocence, he offered to send dash cam footage to the company. “But they weren’t interested in that,” he said.
Over 800 drivers throughout the state filled out the survey. With most responses being from immigrants and people of color, several reported experiencing discrimination, harassment and assault while driving. Half of the drivers said they experienced racism, and 43% claimed they have faced sexual harassment while on the job. The report also found drivers of color were deactivated at a higher rate than white drivers – 70% of drivers of color had either a temporary or permanent deactivation, compared to 57% of white drivers.