California Uber drivers sue company over Prop 22 app notifications

The in-app notifications are 'illegal coercion,' according to the lawsuit.

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Karissa Bell
October 22nd, 2020
An Uber logo is shown on a rideshare vehicle during a statewide day of action to demand that ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft follow California law and grant drivers "basic employee rights'', in Los Angeles, California, U.S., August 20, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Mike Blake / reuters

It’s no secret Uber has been aggressively supporting Proposition 22, a California ballot initiative that would allow the company to skirt a state law requiring them to classify drivers as employees

Now, a group of the app’s drivers say the company’s lobbying has gone too far. The Washington Post reports that a group of drivers have sued the ride hailing company over its aggressive use of in-app pop-ups encouraging drivers to support Prop 22. The in-app notifications require drivers to click through the messages while they’re working. This amounts to “illegal political coercion,” the lawsuit claims.

Uber didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. But the company isn’t the only one to face criticism for its lobbying for Prop 22. DoorDash, which also relies on gig workers, has been criticized for requiring its drivers to deliver orders in “Yes on 22” takeout bags.

Update 10/22 4:23pm ET: In a statement, an Uber spokesperson called the lawsuit “absurd.”

"This is an absurd lawsuit, without merit, filed solely for press attention and without regard for the facts. It can’t distract from the truth: that the vast majority of drivers support Prop 22 and have for months because they know it will improve their lives and protect the way they prefer to work.”

Update 10/28 7:50pm ET: A judge denied the drivers’ request for a temporary restraining order so Uber can continue to show the pop-ups in its apps ahead of the election.

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