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The November 25th, 2019 Update
On November 25th, Uber sent an update to their Technology Services Agreement through the driver app. In order to continue driving, you had to accept the updated agreement. Most of these agreements are long and most drivers don’t expect to encounter any problems while driving, so they rarely read the agreements before clicking “I Agree’.
The main change that we’ve been hearing drivers gripe about is the arbitration agreement. This requires that drivers settle disputes with Uber outside of court with a third party arbitrator. These companies have an obligation to be impartial, but may fear that they will more often than not side with the companies that hire them for fear of losing their contract. This agreement does allow you to request a specific arbitrator, but you will be responsible for some of the fees related to arbitration, which could be quite costly. To be fair, we have no evidence to say that these arbitration panels will not be impartial, but why give up your right to sue in court or to join a class action?
One thing that is accomplished by arbitration is that driver grievances may never enter the public record, as they would in a court setting. The terms of any settlement may require that the arbitration proceedings not be disclosed to the public. In 2013, attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan filed suit on behalf of Uber drivers regarding their alleged mis-classification as independent contractors, rather than employees. Uber tried to compel arbitration, but the court allowed it to proceed despite Uber’s arbitration agreements. Uber has undoubtedly updated their agreements to be more enforceable in the future. The suit was settled in 2019 for $20 million and covered 13,600 drivers. (Sources 1, 2, 3, 4)
This is a short excerpt from the agreement. Please read the whole agreement, as this excerpt does not summarize all of the important provisions in the agreement.
IMPORTANT: PLEASE REVIEW THIS ARBITRATION PROVISION CAREFULLY, AS IT WILL REQUIRE YOU TO RESOLVE DISPUTES WITH THE COMPANY ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS THROUGH FINAL AND BINDING ARBITRATION, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BELOW. YOU MAY CHOOSE TO OPT OUT OF THIS ARBITRATION PROVISION BY FOLLOWING THE BELOW INSTRUCTIONS. THERE ARE AND/OR MAY BE LAWSUITS ALLEGING CLASS, COLLECTIVE OR REPRESENTATIVE CLAIMS ON YOUR BEHALF AGAINST THE COMPANY. IF YOU DO NOT OPT OUT OF THIS ARBITRATION PROVISION AND THEREFORE AGREE TO ARBITRATION WITH THE COMPANY, YOU ARE AGREEING IN ADVANCE, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED BELOW, THAT YOU WILL NOT PARTICIPATE IN AND, THEREFORE, WILL NOT SEEK OR BE ELIGIBLE TO RECOVER MONETARY OR OTHER RELIEF IN CONNECTION WITH, ANY SUCH CLASS, COLLECTIVE OR REPRESENTATIVE LAWSUIT. THIS ARBITRATION PROVISION, HOWEVER, WILL ALLOW YOU TO BRING INDIVIDUAL CLAIMS IN ARBITRATION ON YOUR OWN BEHALF.
A 2017 article in the University of Chicago Legal Forum addressed the issue as follows:
“So far, the results are troubling: while it is too early to say what is happening to drivers who pursue arbitration, it is apparent that IACs [Individual Arbitration Clauses] are impeding the development of answers to questions about drivers’ employment status, and significantly reducing the value of workers’ claims in litigation.”
You should always read any agreement before accepting it, even if it is long. If there are future class action settlements entitling you to compensation, you may have disqualified yourself from being compensated by agreeing. Make sure you know what you are agreeing to.
How do I opt-out?
At the bottom of the agreement is language letting you know that you have the right to opt-out. To do so, you must opt-out within 30 days of accepting the agreement, which means you must opt out by December 25th, 2019 if you accepted the agreement on the day that it was issued.
(Keep in mind that this does not opt you out of previous agreements.)
You can opt out by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and include the following:
- A statement making clear your intent to opt out of this Arbitration Provision
- Your full name
- The phone number associated with your Uber account
- The email address associated with your Uber account
- The city/state in which you reside
The email MUST come from the email address associated with your Uber account.
Uber states that you cannot have anyone else opt-out on your behalf. That includes legal counsel. You can opt-out using the information above, but we’ve also created the tool below to make it easier for you.
Use the tool below to generate your opt-out request
This article does not constitute legal advice and is for general knowledge purposes only. stg-ridesharegurucom-stagingrsg.kinsta.cloud does not make any guarantees to its accuracy as each state’s legal situation is unique. We recommend that you contact an attorney licensed in your state for the most accurate information regarding local laws. Links on this page may go to partners or affiliates and we may be compensated for your purchases with those partners or affiliates.