2015 has brought an onslaught of legal issues for Uber, the prominent company that continues to fight for its reputation and corner on the rideshare market. Uber saw lawsuits in 2014 for questionable hiring practices pertaining to how the company screened its employees, and Uber now says that its current background check process is one way it attempts to deflect security breaches.
Recently, an Oregon-based Uber driver filed a lawsuit in California claiming that the company was responsible for a breach of personal data (mainly names and driver’s license numbers) of 50,ooo + of its drivers across the country. The plaintiff in the suit claims that Uber waited five months to reveal the fact that its drivers’ information had been compromised and that the company could have done more to prevent the security breach.
Nationwide employers like Uber have to be cognizant of how state laws affect their employees (a definition that is causing trouble for the company in Florida legislation regarding which benefits Uber should provide). State laws not only have the potential to complicate legal matters for employers, but also for the employees themselves; because of the breach, thousands of Uber drivers have to monitor their compromised information for years to come. Thus the lawsuit seeks millions of dollars in damages for those drivers.
Uber is not only defending itself over the release of personal information, but it also has a trial set for October of 2015 in Texas over the information that should be available to the public. The city of Houston wants to release certain statistical data about Uber drivers (i.e. number of drivers in a given location), but the company claims that such information is trade secret that could hurt business, an ironic assertion considering one Uber driver in Houston has been accused of sexual assault.
Uber’s problems do not seem to be over, nor do the accusations against its employees (the number of assaults by Uber drivers continues to grow in multiple cities). If the company is going to assure the paying public that its background screening process is supposed to prevent these violations of personal security, then the coming year should project a decrease in complaints. Only time will tell.