O’Connor, et al. v. Uber Technologies Inc., et al., Case No. 3:13-cv-03826, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Last week, Uber Technologies Inc. asked a California federal judge to dismiss a class action lawsuit accusing the transportation service of misleading passengers into thinking the 20 percent automatic gratuity is paid to drivers, arguing that the drivers failed to provide evidence they relied on any of the company’s alleged misrepresentations.
Uber developed a mobile application that connects prospective passengers with drivers-for-hire, such as taxicab services. An automatic gratuity is included in the cost of the transportation service. The Uber class action lawsuit alleges that drivers receive only a portion of the gratuity, but passengers are misled into believing the entire gratuity charge goes to the driver.
“Thus, drivers do not receive the tips that are customary in the car service industry and that they would otherwise receive were it not for Uber’s communication to customers that they do not need to tip,” the Uber class action lawsuit says. Although Uber attempted to dismiss the driver gratuity class action lawsuit, a California federal judge denied its request in December 2013.
Apparently it is not only the drivers that are aggravated by the whole situation, passengers have also filed a lawsuit claiming that they were mislead by Uber's statement:
Caren Ehret v. Uber Technologies Inc., Case No. 3:14-cv-00113, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
On Thursday, Uber Technologies Inc. asked a California federal judge to dismiss a class action lawsuit over driver tips, arguing customers don’t have a right to know how a mandatory gratuity charge is distributed.
Uber has developed an app that enables users to request transportation services from participants, including taxicabs. Plaintiff Caren Ehret filed a class action lawsuit against Uber on behalf of a nationwide Class of people who have used Uber’s app to request transportation from third party taxicab drivers. She alleges that Uber deceives its customers by indicating that it will add a 20 percent gratuity to their fare, then keeping a portion of that gratuity for itself rather than distributing the entire gratuity to the driver. She alleges this conduct is in violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL).
Like I said, an interesting case.