Lyft drops arbitration requirement for sexual assault cases

Forced arbitration shields legal conflicts from public scrutiny and often requires a confidentiality agreement, silencing victims.

They can "tell their story wherever and however they see fit", West said. The policy change will affect riders, drivers and employees, the company says. In order to "do better" (or at least give that impression), Uber is now changing policies it should never have had in the first place. Yay? Not to be outdone, Lyft announced Tuesday it would also scrap its rules binding passengers and drivers to private arbitration and confidential settlements in civil cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct.

The company announced on Tuesday that they have made a decision to waive forced arbitration for riders, drivers or employees who want to file a legal grievance against the company over claims of sexual assault. Those alleging assault who wish to be part of a class action suit are still bound by the arbitration clause. Giving victims of sexual assault or perceived sexual harassment more options sends an important message that Uber is taking the issue more seriously, said Kristen Houser, a spokeswoman for Raliance, a coalition of groups working with Uber to prevent sexual abuse on its service.

Uber and Lyft end mandatory arbitration for...

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The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center on May 11, 2018 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The satellite is named after Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who is regarded as the founding father of Bangladesh.

Uber announced Tuesday that its new policies would include the publishing of "a safety transparency report that will include data on sexual assaults and other incidents that occur on the Uber platform". However, it has since confirmed that it will not only publish a report, but work together with Uber on that report.

The modification comes 2 weeks after the reporter reported the outcomes of its examination, which discovered a minimum of 103 Uber motorists in the United States who have actually been implicated of sexually attacking or abusing their guests in the past 4 years.

As part of its investigation, CNN also contacted more than 20 police departments to obtain data on complaints that involved Uber and Lyft drivers and sexual assault. "This is the beginning of a longer process needed to meaningfully improve safety". Khosrowshahi has vowed to "do the right thing", fix the damage from previous missteps and lure back alienated riders who defected to rivals such as Lyft. Hopefully, more companies will follow suit before there are problems. "We think the numbers are going to be disturbing", said Tony West, a former government prosecutor during the Obama administration who became Uber's chief legal officer after Khosrowshahi took over. (I deleted the app a year ago, after a driver found my phone number-through his trip history, I assumed-and repeatedly texted and called me.) Last month, Uber implemented a host of long-delayed safety features, such as an emergency-call button that connects a rider to a 911 operator and features real-time location data from the moving auto.

  • Ronnie Bowen