Uber has responded to the ongoing court case between the company and its drivers by publishing a 21 page agreement that has been sent out to its more than 400,000 drivers across the United States. The agreement forbids employed drivers from filing a lawsuit in the event of a future dispute. All Uber drivers were required to agree to the terms on their mobile devices, and they were unable to accept new fares until they made the agreement.
However, the drivers are not happy with this mandate from Uber. A lawyer representing California Uber drivers in an ongoing class action lawsuit has requested a federal judge in San Francisco to stop Uber from enforcing this new agreement. Based on this new policy, Uber drivers are allowed to only file for arbitration instead of suing the company or joining a class action lawsuit. Unlike a lawsuit, an arbitration is private, and it almost always favors the company. The new mandate from Uber makes class action cases against the company virtually impossible.
Additionally, drivers who are a part of the current class action lawsuit who agree to these terms will essentially be forced to drop out of the current court case. However, Uber has given its drivers 30 days to opt out of any agreement that they sign. But if they fail to opt out within 30 days, they are essentially giving up their rights.
Uber has said that it informed United States District Judge Edward Chen of its intentions to create the agreement in court on Thursday. Judge Chen approved this plan, though many of those involved in the case were not properly informed.
An unnamed Uber spokesperson said, “We believe strongly that our agreements are valid, but we are making some changes and clarifications to remove uncertainty for drivers and for us as we work through our multiple appeals on this issue.”
This Thursday, Judge Chen is expected to hear arguments from both sides of the issue.