Uber and Lyft agreed to end their controversial forced arbitration policies for sexual assault claims. Forced arbitration clauses are found within the fine print of contracts. These policies force consumers to arbitrate their grievances, rather than seek justice in court by filing a lawsuit. Victims who were sexually assaulted while using these ridesharing services can file individual lawsuits against the companies. The new policy also applies to Uber and Lyft employees and drivers. There is a catch to this announcement. Uber and Lyft’s user agreement still bars victims from banding together in class-action lawsuits. Both companies are keeping arbitration in place for claims that do not involve sexual assault. Uber and Lyft’s policy change comes several weeks after CNN released an investigative report on instances of ridesharing customers being sexually assaulted. According to the report, 103 Uber drivers in the United States sexually assaulted their passengers in the past four years. Several recent ridesharing sexual assaults occurred in the Bay Area. Police recently arrested a Lyft driver in Fremont for sexual assault. According to the police, a woman used the Lyft app to arrange for a ride to her friend’s house in Berkeley. Her friend was not at the address, so the driver offered to bring the woman to her home. Instead of bringing the woman to her residence, the driver brought her to his home, where he led her inside and offered her marijuana. She was sexually assaulted shortly afterwards.
Uber and Lyft End Controversial Forced Arbitration Policies for Sexual Assault Claims