Uber and Lyft are more likely to fire drivers of color, the report said.

He had James Jordan. In the year In the spring of 2022, he worked as an Uber driver in Los Angeles for five and a half years. But in late March, after several complaints from customers, Jordan discovered his account had been permanently deleted, leaving the single father of five as his only source of income for Uber, practically unemployed with no notice.

“I’ve done over 27,000 rides,” he said. “In a week or 10 days after that, I received more complaints than I had in those five and a half years.”

Jordan, who estimates he earns $8,000-$10,000 a month as an Uber driver, has repeatedly appealed to the company, sending angry emails to get his account reinstated, but was told the termination was final. A customer said Jordan tried to hit her with his car. In return, he offered to send a dashcam image of the company to ensure the incident did not happen. “But they weren’t interested in that,” he said.

Uber spokeswoman Navideh Forghani told WIRED that the company has no record of providing evidence against Jordan’s firing.

“You have to constantly call, email and visit the hub office and pray for luck to get the companies to respond,” said Nicole Moore, president of Rideshare Drivers United, an independent lobbying group in California. “There is no way forward for drivers who do not speak English. It’s about dressing people until they give up,” he said.

Jordan is not alone. A new report from the civil rights organization Asian Americans Advancing Equity–Asian Law Caucus (AAAJ-ALC) and Rideshare Drivers United found that drivers of color for Uber and Lyft are more likely to be victims than Jordan, who is black—and immigrant drivers. Their account has been deactivated after a customer complaint. Of the 810 drivers surveyed, 69 percent of non-white drivers, compared to 57 percent of white drivers, reported experiencing permanent or temporary job loss. Drivers who do not speak English or have no English skills at all are more likely to have their accounts deactivated than those who speak the language fluently.

“We have a robust human-driven review process that reviews reports and determines whether temporary or permanent account deactivation is warranted,” said Uber’s Forgani. “Unless there is a serious emergency or security risk, we give drivers plenty of warning before permanently deleting their account.” Uber says it has an appeals process for drivers through the app.

Lyft spokesperson Shadawn Reddick-Smith issued a statement calling the report “fundamentally flawed” and without any basis in fact. “Lyft takes safety reports from riders and drivers seriously and will investigate them to determine appropriate action,” the statement said.

An AAAJ-ALC survey found that a quarter of drivers received poor reviews from customers when enforcing Covid safety guidelines. Jordan believes the complaint may stem in part from a conflict between Uber’s company policies requiring riders and drivers to continue wearing face masks and California state policies that lifted the mask mandate on March 1, 2022. About half of those surveyed thought the breed played a role in the negative ratings that led to the discontinuation.

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