Global — A new report reveals that Uber’s investigation team no longer reports allegations against drivers to authorities – even if those are complaints of sexual assault and rape.
Furthermore, the team is also ‘forbidden’ from advising victims of crimes to seek legal counsel.
Instead, Uber uses a three-strike system for its drivers. Unless the Uber driver gets three strikes for “bad behavior”, he won’t be removed from the system. Subsequently, the system gained massive critics worldwide. One argument claims that it allows bad users to stay on the platform, thus, harming others in the process.
However, even if Uber terminates a driver from its platform, it still won’t escalate those issues to law enforcement or file official police reports. The company doesn’t necessarily notify other rideshare companies or background check firms regarding the driver’s behavior that provoked their removal.
The company allegedly instructed its investigators to “protect Uber first”. More than 20 current and former Uber investigators testified in the Washington Post’s study. According to them, they make sure Uber is “not held liable” for any crimes that are committed by its employees. In fact, they are very cautious when communicating with alleged victims to avoid the appearance that Uber is taking side.
Moreover, Uber claims it’s “the victim’s choice to report an incident to the police.”
“At the end of the day, we’re not the judge and jury to determine whether a crime has occurred,” said Tracey Breeden, Uber’s global head of women’s safety. “We’re here to gather information, make a business decision. We’re not law enforcement.”
Last year, Chicago filed lawsuit against Lyft for failing to warn the city and Uber that it fired a driver for his violent behavior.
One of the most notable cases involving Uber was the murder of a taxi driver in Chicago. Uber driver Fangqi Lu kicked taxi driver Anis Tungekar in the head following a traffic dispute. According to reports, Mr. Lu once worked as a Lyft driver, but the company terminated him due to his behavior.
Authorities questioned why the suspect managed to drive for Uber despite his unclean records. The investigation revealed that Lyft failed to warn the city about the driver’s violent behavior.
With that said, Uber’s decision to forbid its investigators from forwarding criminal allegations to authorities is questionable. This is despite Uber’s statement that the company “will continue to put safety at the heart of everything we do and implement new approaches, based on expert guidance, to the benefit of both our customers and employees.”