Report: Uber, Lyft drivers face suspension, discrimination

Report: Uber, Lyft drivers face suspension, discrimination

Deactivation is an all-too-common experience for Uber and Lyft drivers, according to a new report.

When drivers are “deactivated,” as the term goes, they are often only temporarily suspended from using the app to pick up rides. On its website, Uber says the most common reason drivers can’t access their accounts is because of background check issues. It also claims that the review process is “human-driven.”

According to a survey released last week by civil rights advocacy group Asian Law Caucus (ALC) and Rideshare Drivers United (RDU), 67% of California-based residents. the interviewed drivers had previously deactivated the application in some way. It also found that drivers of color were more likely to report this experience.

“For many app-based drivers, driving on platforms like Uber and Lyft is the primary source of income,” the study said in a press release. “Their livelihoods depend precariously on secret algorithms and unverified customer complaints and reviews.”

According to the results, 69% of black drivers surveyed said they had been deactivated in one way or another, while 57% of white drivers had experienced the event. Colored drivers made up the vast majority of the examined group.

Two out of three drivers surveyed reported experiencing bias or discrimination, the report added.

Two drivers Entrepreneur spoke agreed with parts of the report’s findings.

A part-time Uber driver nicknamed “Bawa” in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, who asked if his real name could be withheld for privacy (but whose driver profile Entrepreneur viewed), said that he himself had never experienced discrimination, but that he knew many drivers who had.

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“The majority of Uber drivers are from the immigrant community and are mostly first-generation immigrants,” he said.

Bawa said he immigrated to Canada in 2008 and remembered being deactivated once a few years ago after driving someone in very cold weather and struggling with ice. After five days, he was able to get back on his feet, and the company gave him $150 for lost wages.

Levi Spiers, 48, is an Uber driver in Syracuse, New York Entrepreneur that it has never been deactivated, but it is an ever-looming fear.

“There are terrible horror stories about 5-star drivers being stopped because of a bogus complaint,” he said.

On sites like Reddit, many drivers are complaining about being deactivated or talking about being at risk of being deactivated, as Spiers noted.

In a statement to NBC News, Lyft said the report was “fundamentally flawed with a preconceived, non-fact-based conclusion.” However, the company “strongly condemns all forms of discrimination and is committed to preventing it on our platform.”

According to the report, the survey included 810 current or former Uber and Lyft drivers who had worked for the apps in California in the past four years. It was given online between April and July 2022, and 15 drivers were interviewed individually in the fall of 2022. Organizations such as the Chinese Progressive Association in San Francisco helped distribute the surveys.

It was offered in English, Spanish, Chinese and Arabic.

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