Two women, who have chosen to remain anonymous, filed a class action lawsuit against Uber Tuesday, claiming the ride-hailing company is responsible for not holding proper background checks on drivers who allegedly sexually assaulted both of the women on separate occasions.
“Uber made such false representations after failing to screen the drivers in any meaningful way, thereby presenting grave threats to Plaintiffs’ safety and well-being,” states a copy of the legal complaint provided to MarieClaire.com.
“Uber has done everything possible to continue using low-cost, woefully inadequate background checks on drivers and has failed to monitor drivers for any violent or inappropriate conduct after they are hired,” the lawsuit reads. “Nothing meaningful has been done to make rides safer for passengers—especially women. This is no longer an issue of ‘rogue’ drivers who act unlawfully.”
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of all U.S. riders who were “subject to rape, sexual assault, or gender-motivated violence or harassment by their Uber driver in the last four years.” The accusers are seeking compensation for the alleged offenses and have requested the judge grant an injunction against Uber that requires the company to implement stricter background checks on its drivers.
“Uber must come forward with information about how many reports it has received about rapes, sexual assaults, and gender-motivated harassment to allow consumers to assess whether Uber really does provide safe rides, especially to women,” the women’s attorney Jeanne M. Christensen told MarieClaire.com. “Uber must make drastic changes to prevent another female rider from harm. As alleged, the recent #MeToo campaign has exposed the heinous acts that female riders have been forced to endure during Uber rides. It is time for Uber to ‘Do the right thing. Period.'” (The latter part of Christensen’s statement references the company’s new set of cultural values.)
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#MeToo is a social media movement that began in recent weeks following the aftermath of sexual assault and harassment allegations made against Hollywood exec Harvey Weinstein and subsequent stories of sexual misconduct in Hollywood, politics, and beyond. It began as a way for women everywhere to share stories of sexual harassment and abuse in order to shine a light on just how many women have been affected.
In a statement via email to MarieClaire.com, Uber said, “Uber received this complaint today and we are in the process of reviewing it. These allegations are important to us and we take them very seriously.”