Uber accused in lawsuit of bullying motorists in its app to help Prop 22

Uber drivers in California are suing the ride-sharing company, proclaiming the “constant barrage” of messages in its application violates workers’ legal rights. The team of drivers is searching for up to $260 million in penalties, saying in a press launch that Uber is “illegally exploiting its financial electrical power about its California-centered drivers by pressuring them to assistance the Certainly on 22 campaign.”

The drivers say they have been obtaining messages reading “Prop 22 is development,” and getting in-app warnings about what would materialize if Prop 22 were to are unsuccessful. They have to click “OK” in advance of they can transfer ahead in the application. “Almost each and every time we log on, we are fed additional one-sided info to force us into supporting Prop 22,” Ben Valdez, a driver for Uber and a person of the plaintiffs in the scenario, mentioned in a assertion. That contains in-application video clips of drivers talking about why “Prop 22 would make a variation,” reinforcing Uber’s stance that the measure should really pass.

California legislation prohibits employers from making an attempt to affect employees’ political routines by threatening a loss of employment, according to the push release. The lawsuit, which was 1st described by The Washington Put up, usually takes aim at what it calls Uber’s wrongful attempts to dictate to its motorists how they ought to vote in the approaching election. But it is not clear no matter whether the regulation would apply to Uber drivers, all of whom are impartial contractors, not employees — the pretty status that is up for discussion in the Prop 22 fight.

“Let’s be totally clear,” explained legal professional David Lowe, of Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe, in a statement asserting the lawsuit. “Uber’s threats and consistent barrage of Prop 22 propaganda on an application the motorists will have to use to do their do the job have 1 function: to coerce the motorists to assist Uber’s political battle to strip them of office protections.”

Prop 22, a November ballot initiative in California, would exempt providers like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash from a California point out regulation that needs them to classify their staff as employees. Motorists for Uber are classified as unbiased contractors who aren’t entitled to overtime pay, compensated sick depart, or other positive aspects. The companies have invested more than $186 million on a campaign to help Prop 22.

The personnel are looking for an injunction to stop Uber from showing any further Prop 22 messages to drivers in the app. The lawsuit was submitted in San Francisco Excellent Courtroom, below the California Personal Lawyers Standard Act, which allows staff to sue on behalf of the state, Lowe explained. The fit alleges that Uber instructed employees that 72 percent of its motorists system to vote indeed on Prop 22, which the employees say is “false and misleading.” The enterprise says the study was done in Might and June, right before there was any messaging in the app.

“This is an absurd lawsuit, devoid of benefit, submitted exclusively for push consideration and without having regard for the details,” an Uber spokesperson claimed in an e-mail to The Verge. “It just can’t distract from the real truth: that the vast greater part of drivers guidance Prop 22, and have for months, since they know it will improve their life and guard the way they like to do the job.”

But this is not the to start with time Uber has been identified as out for its intense messaging around Prop 22. Before this month, right before California consumers of the application could contact for a journey, they had to “confirm” they’d viewed a information that described how wait around times and charges would increase if Prop 22 was not passed (the text was later modified to “continue to ride”). Last week, Uber consumers complained on social media about in-app notifications stating that “Prop 22 will preserve life,” in an evident violation of Apple’s application developer agreement which prohibits sending “unsolicited message to customers, together with […] Thrust Notifications.”

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