Suit Over Uber Driver Promotion Dropped

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (CN) – Amid weeks of tumult at Uber, the ride-hailing technology company appears to have settled a case with a class of drivers who said the company didn’t follow through on a promotional promise.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James signed a stipulated order dismissing the case, typically an indication the matter has been settled out of court.

The case dates back to last year, when lead plaintiff Kimberly Berger accused the company of breach of contract, unfair competition and breach of good faith, claiming the company did not live up to the promises it made during a promotion.

Specifically, Uber guaranteed its drivers rates of $26 during peak hours and $20 during regular hours, and the only requirements were that they accept 90 percent of trips, average at least one trip per hour and be online for 50 minutes of every hour worked, Berger said in the complaint.

The promotion, called “Winter Warmup,” took place in January 2015.

Berger said Uber did not pay its drivers as promised, nor did it provide a clear expectation of how the guarantee worked.

Based on the promotional email, she said, drivers were led to believe that as long as they followed the requirements, they would be guaranteed the advertised rates.

But “Uber did not disclose that the hourly guarantee would be calculated based on a weekly, or per pay period, gross average all hours worked by Uber drivers, and not on an hourly basis as promised in the Uber ‘Winter Warmup’ guarantee promotion,” Berger said in the complaint.

Since the hourly guarantee reflected an average gross hourly rate before Uber fees were subtracted, she said, drivers were paid hourly rates up to 40 percent less than advertised.

Berger’s attorney Amy Wooton declined to comment.

Uber did not return an email seeking comment by press time.

 

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