Lyft Class Action Lawsuit

A Lyft driver is suing the ride-sharing company for violating the civil rights of drivers. A Lyft driver recently filed a lawsuit claiming the ride-sharing company logs drivers off when they do not perform more than 180 miles in a 30-day period. Muslims claims that, from the beginning, Lyft promoted their drivers to work long hours by enticing them by offering higher compensation if they would work over fifty-hour weeks. This, according to the lawsuit, was illegal because it does not offer any sort of compensation or benefits to drivers who work under this schedule. It is also being done in order to circumvent the Civil Rights of Workers and the Consumer Franchise Disclosure Act.

The lawsuit was filed by Yolanda Johnson, a Muslim woman who was discriminated against while driving for Lyft. According to her lawsuit, a Lyft driver told her “You are driving without insurance”, to which she responded “I am not driving without insurance”. When another Lyft driver, Crystal Simmons, told her to put her hands up, she was instructed “to keep her hands where I can see them”. In addition, Simmons told her that if she didn’t like what she was doing, she should not be offended because she is a “caring person”. In both instances, Simmons claimed that her treatment was discriminatory and violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

According to a Lyft spokesperson, drivers have a choice of filing a complaint in the U.S. attorney’s office or signing up for driver insurance from Lyft. Drivers should contact the San Francisco Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division or the Department of Insurance. Lyft class action lawsuits are also expected to be filed by the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.

The arbitration clause of Lyft’s commercial transportation policy, which is part of the policy itself, explicitly states that “a rider… shall have the right, as a matter of law, to demand that the Company Arbitrate any dispute”. The arbitration clause goes on to state that “whenever in this agreement, either party or either individual may seek an arbitrator, the Company reserve the right to request the mediation of an independent arbitrator, who may issue an order relating to the dispute that may be binding on all parties.” The class action lawsuit further states that because of this arbitration clause, drivers cannot pursue claims for violations of the FHA, ADA, or any other state or federal laws. The plaintiffs believe that this violates the right to a trial by jury.

In July of last year, a Lyft class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Lyft, alleging that it discriminated against customers based on their ethnic background, gender, medical condition, disability, or pregnancy. According to the complaint, Lyft’s marketing and advertising department devised a marketing campaign that allegedly discriminated against Hispanic drivers. Specifically, the complaint states that Lyft created a Latino logo, placed an unlimited number of Spanish speaking drivers next to yellow bus icons, marketed a Spanish language app and Spanish website in conjunction with their other offerings, and instructed drivers not to request a tip under any circumstances. The complaint further states that Lyft’s policies and practices have continued to discriminate against Hispanic drivers and clients. On August 8, a settlement was announced in the case; however, details have yet to be released.

The plaintiffs in this lawsuit, which are represented by the American Association of Motorcyclists (AAM) and the National Union of Professional Drivers (NUOV) claim that Lyft’s policy violates the Fair Employment and Rules of Practice (FELP), the federal Americans With Disabilities Act, and the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. As stated by a Lyft spokesperson, the company “does not discriminate in any way” when it comes to hiring or serving customers. However, both the AAM and NUOV have brought suit against other companies that have denied services to certain individuals or do not serve all individuals in areas of the state that they are legally entitled to. In addition, according to the complaint, Lyft drivers have been subjected to racial slurs and physical assault from some members of the community. It is important to remember that although Lyft does not deny that there are instances where members of the community may be subject to inappropriate behavior, it is also against the law for Lyft to allow or force riders to submit to or accept anything being offered by a driver.

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