The app-based transportation network Uber continues to face legal troubles, as three lawsuits have been brought in the last month on behalf of Uber passengers. The San Francisco-based company is also facing a class action lawsuit in which a class of drivers says the company failed to pay them as employees. Jillian Boyce, of Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, discussed the drivers' lawsuit in a previous post.
The most recent suit relates to Uber's $1 Safe Rides Fee, which is paid by every Uber customer in the United States. Uber began charging the fee earlier this year to help fund a safety program, which the company said would include background checks, vehicle inspections and training for drivers.
Uber claims that its background checks are rigorous and "industry leading," but according to the passengers' lawsuit, those claims are false, as Uber's drivers are not required to be fingerprinted.
The same issue has been raised in a separate lawsuit brought by the district attorneys of Los Angeles and San Francisco. In that suit, Uber is accused of misleading customers about the rigor of the background checks and charging an extra fee for them. The suit also alleges that Uber illegally operated at airports in California and fraudulently charged airport fees that were never paid to airports.
An article in Forbes has more on the passengers' class action lawsuit, which seeks restitution for the Safe Rides Fee.
For more on class actions in general, please see our recent post, "What is a class action and how is one started?"