Uber has been at the center of a number of legal battles over pricing and employment issues. The company is facing a regulatory crackdown in both Europe and the United States, with some EU countries planning to ban Uber from their territories altogether. To battle these regulations, Uber must ensure that its actions are aligned with regulators’ expectations for fair competition.,
Uber has faced a lot of regulatory issues in 2017. These include lawsuits and city bans. Uber will have to fight these battles if they want to continue operating in the US. Read more in detail here: uber regulatory issues.
Uber introduced a slew of new features in 2016, including self-driving vehicles, UberFreight, and more. However, new laws come with innovation, which Uber has repeatedly shown it does not have the patience for.
Some towns and governments think that supporting Uber demonstrates their commitment to innovation, while others are more cautious and are attempting to rein in the corporation. It has resulted in a perplexing legal framework that is still catching up with modern technologies.
Here are some of the most important legal concerns we believe Uber will face in 2017.
State Lawsuits Concerning Self-Driving Vehicles
The Department of Transportation issued the first Federal Automated Vehicles Policy in November 2016, allowing firms to manufacture self-driving vehicles while states craft legislation and regulations.
Despite the fact that the text advises against states passing legislation that is contradictory, it also acknowledges that “states may choose to experiment with alternative policies and methods.”
Uber’s self-driving vehicle pilots have already put these “experiments” to the test. In contrast to San Francisco, where the firm got a cease-and-desist letter from the Attorney General within two days of the pilot’s opening, the pilot in Pittsburgh has gone quite well.
Uber declined to apply for a state-issued autonomous car testing licence, which costs just $150.
Uber declined to apply for a $150 state permit to test autonomous cars, claiming that their vehicles still needed human drivers and so did not meet California’s definition of self-driving. Worse, cameras saw its self-driving vehicles disobeying red signals and making dangerous bends in bike lanes.
Despite the fact that Uber’s managers disregarded traffic offenses as human error, their vehicles were eventually sent to Arizona.
“While California puts the brakes on innovation and change with more bureaucracy and regulation, Arizona is paving the way for new technologies and new enterprises,” said Arizona Governor Doug Ducey.
Uber may test its driverless car technology in Michigan this year, in addition to Arizona. The state has recently allowed self-driving vehicles without licensed drivers, steering wheels, or brakes, despite no notifications.
The legal squabbles and hazardous driving that we witnessed in California would very certainly continue without clear, consistent monitoring. Increased federal regulation is inevitable, but it may benefit Uber and other self-driving car companies: Both Travis Kalanick, the CEO of Uber, and Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, are members of the President-Strategic elect’s and Policy Forum.
Greater Transparency is Required in Transit Partnerships
In 2016, some local leaders decided to cut down on public transportation expenses and instead provide people Uber travel coupons. Because they replace the first and last few stations of a route, when there are the fewest passengers, these initiatives are commonly referred to as “First Mile Last Mile.”
Is it a good idea to give Uber greater power?
It’s typically more cost-effective for a city’s budget to replace low-traffic bus lines with subsidized Uber trips. This has been done in Florida places such as Pinellas Park and Altamonte Springs (which pays 20% for all Uber trips inside municipal borders) and it has been deemed a success.
However, this is a concerning trend that might have a severe impact on those who depend on public transit the most. Citizens without cellphones or credit cards are unable to request a ride. The handicapped would certainly have a tougher time getting about, since finding Uber drivers who can accept wheelchairs and guide dogs is still a challenge.
By substituting Uber trips for bus routes, local governments relinquish control to a private firm. It also restricts government access to ridership data, which Uber deems sensitive information, in addition to replacing public sector employment with low-wage contract jobs (see below).
This is a problem that New York City is now dealing with. The city now requires drivers to record pick-up and drop-off sites and times, but they want to expand this to include drop-off locations and times as well. Officials claim the information will be used to detect instances of driver weariness, but Uber considers it a breach of privacy.
“Right now, Uber and Lyft are subsidizing U.S. passengers, but they’ll start earning from it one day.”
While New York City’s case has flaws, Uber hasn’t shown to be the greatest privacy guardian: former Uber employees disclosed last year that staff monitored the movements of ex-partners and celebrities.
Is it smart, furthermore, to give Uber even more power? What if Uber chooses to discontinue these arrangements, leaving local communities without reliable bus or rail service?
“At the moment, Uber and Lyft are subsidizing U.S. passengers, and one day they’re going to start benefiting from it,” writes Slate contributor Henry Grabar.
Drivers are attempting to become employees rather than contractors.
Will the long-running debate over whether Uber drivers are workers or contractors be resolved in 2017?
The corporation claims that by categorizing drivers as contractors, they are allowing them the freedom that they seek. The corporation often uses the phrase “flexibility” to justify why it denies drivers fundamental job rights such as notifying them when rates are decreased or assuring that they are paid at least the minimum wage.
The categorization issue will be fueled by two upcoming class action lawsuits representing drivers in California and Massachusetts.
The $100 million settlement was denied by U.S. District Judge Edward Chen, who said it was unjust to drivers.
Uber offered a $100 million settlement in April 2016 that, if accepted, would have kept drivers’ contractor status. The settlement was denied by U.S. District Judge Edward Chen, who said it was unjust to drivers. (Negotiations between the two sides have subsequently resumed.)
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision to preserve Uber’s arbitration agreements—an arrangement that Judge Chen labeled “unconscionable”—has become a fresh thorn for drivers. Drivers who joined Uber in 2013 and 2014 must address their problems via private arbitration rather than class action lawsuits, according to a September 2016 judgment. Thousands of drivers who were initially named in Massachusetts and California’s employment misclassification lawsuits will certainly be disqualified as a result of this judgment.
This discussion will be followed by ClassAction.com in order to offer Uber drivers with the most up-to-date information on their worker classification and legal rights. If you’re an Uber driver, reach out to us right once with any legal concerns.
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The “uber business model problems” is a battle Uber has been facing for a while. Uber’s business model is currently under fire from the taxi industry, regulators, and even its own drivers.
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