The sins of Kalanick's the past catch up with Uber. In a recent decision passed by U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers, in the case of "Safe Rides" fees breach in contract, the Judge stated that "there is no question that drivers were financially harmed by Uber's breach of contract."
Nine thousand six hundred and two drivers (9,602) were represented in the case after they decided to decline arbitration back in 2015. The lead counsel was Jason Rosenberg, Matthew Clark, Ryan Cowden, and Dominicus Rooijackers. The outcome of the case is known, but the Judge has yet to set damages.
The base of the claim comes from the 2014 decision by Uber to claim $1 per ride for a "safe ride" fee. The money would be used to finance the driver training, background checks, and vehicle inspections. Uber was meant to take the fee from the riders but took it from the drivers instead, essentially robbing drivers $1 per ride.
The basics from the original complaint state that after Uber instituted its Safe Rides program, it marketed the program being funded by riders. This funding would include a minimum fare for each area that Uber covered. All the messages, documentation and adverts showed that the fees would be taken from the riders and not the drivers. This was consistent until November 2015, when drivers suddenly woke up and realized that the money was being taken from their income. In direct violation of the contract between Uber and its drivers, Uber took the money from drivers in every ride made, including taking the fee from the drivers pay for a minimum fare ride.
Judge Roger's accepted the driver's motion for summary judgment and stated that "Nothing in the Agreement provides a formula for Uber to deduct $1.00 from the Minimum Fare and then deduct another 20% from the balance. The fact that Uber chose not to follow the precise terms of the Agreement for the 19 months of the class period and is now attempting to rationalize its conduct is not relevant to the instant claim." Judge Rogers also said that Uber "breached the plain terms of the Agreement."
All drivers who signed 2013, June 2014 and November 2014 contract with Uber, who also opted out of arbitration and have performed at least one ride for UberX before November 2015 can claim eligibility for compensation within this ruling.
Uber has yet to respond to the decision.
Congdon et al v. Uber Technologies, Inc. et al by Megan Dickey on Scribd