Susan Fowler: Why I Wrote the Uber Memo

from NYTs On Feb. 18, 2017 — three years ago almost to the day — I sat at my kitchen table, my laptop open, my mind racing. In the two months since I’d quit my job as an entry-level software engineer at Uber, I’d tried to forget what I’d experienced and witnessed there, but it was impossible. In my year at the company, I’d been propositioned over company chat by my new manager on my first day on his team; when I reported the harassment, I was told it was his first offense, but later learned that it wasn’t (he […]

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Waymo: “We’re Bringing This Case Because Uber Is Cheating”

from ars technica In a packed courtroom on the first day of the blockbuster Waymo v. Uber trade secrets trial, both sides presented their opening arguments. Charles Verhoeven, Waymo’s top lawyer, said that Travis Kalanick, Uber’s CEO from 2010 until mid-2017, was not playing fair in his company’s efforts to catch up with Waymo. “The evidence is going to show that Mr. Kalanick, the CEO at the time, made a decision that winning was more important than obeying the law,” he said. “He made a decision to cheat. Because for him, winning at all costs, no matter what, was his […]

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Waymo vs. Uber: Unsealed Court Documents Reveal Damning Evidence

from The Verge The due diligence report that Uber fought so hard to keep from being used in its legal battle with Waymo and Alphabet was made public on Monday — and it’s easy to see why Uber resisted as hard as it did. The document, prepared by cybersecurity firm Stroz Friedberg as part of Uber’s acquisition of self-driving trucking startup Otto, describes a thorough forensic review of personal devices belonging to five people at Otto, including the much-embattled Anthony Levandowski, who earlier this year attempted to invoke the Fifth Amendment to avoid turning over documents in the case. The […]

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The Gig Economy Celebrates Working Yourself To Death

from The New Yorker Last September, a very twenty-first-century type of story appeared on the company blog of the ride-sharing app Lyft. “Long-time Lyft driver and mentor, Mary, was nine months pregnant when she picked up a passenger the night of July 21st,” the post began. “About a week away from her due date, Mary decided to drive for a few hours after a day of mentoring.” You can guess what happened next. Mary, who was driving in Chicago, picked up a few riders, and then started having contractions. “Since she was still a week away from her due date,” […]

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Uber Loses A Major Workers Rights Case In The UK

from workfutures.io Uber, which has over 30,000 drivers in the UK, workers that have been characterized by the company as ‘independent contractors’ or ‘self-employed’, has received what may turn out to be a devastating blow to the on-demand economics underlying the company’s multi-billion valuation. Since these independent workers are not considered employees, the company sidesteps requirements for minimum wages, insurance, vacation and sick leave, and other benefits. More here.

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A Ride In Uber’s Self-Driving Car

from The New Yorker One day they just appeared—Ford Fusions, some black, some white, with uber stamped on the side. With their twenty cameras, seven lasers, and rooftop-mounted G.P.S., the self-driving cars stood out. People stopped and stared as they took trial journeys around Pittsburgh. That was in the spring. Now, in the waning days of summer, passengers hailing an Uber X may be picked up by one of the city’s many human drivers, or by one of a tiny fleet of autonomous vehicles. “I think that this is the most important thing that computers are going to do in the next […]

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Tax Tips for Those Who Make Money in the Gig Economy

from NYTs Since losing her job in advertising during the financial crisis, Dina Scherer has spent her days helping women cultivate their own personal styles — finding flattering color palettes, editing closets and taking customers on shopping excursions. As a one-woman enterprise, she can be considered a card-carrying member of the so-called gig economy, receiving about half her client leads through Thumbtack, an online marketplace that connects consumers with an array of service providers, whether wedding photographers, music teachers, plumbers or organic cleaning services. But there’s a reason the gig economy is also known as the 1099 economy, with the number […]

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Shutting France Down Over Uber

from The Atlantic Traffic in a number of French cities slowed to a crawl Tuesday as taxi drivers across the country protested against Uber and other “non-traditional” car services. Dispatches from around France included reports of burning tires, the setting of roadblocks on major thoroughfares, and a campaign for cab drivers to “drive slow.” More here.

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TapRide, SafeRide’s version of ‘uber’

from The Setonian The Department of Public Safety will introduce a new TapRide mobile application to the Seton Hall Community and SafeRide passengers next Monday, Sept. 28. Downloading the TapRide app give users the ability to pinpoint their location and request a SafeRide vehicle for them and up to five additional passengers, granted that they are within the SafeRide zone. TapRide recognizes user’s location and allows students to track drivers on a virtual map. Notifications alert students when their ride requests are accepted and when their ride arrives. TapRide was implemented due to the influx of calls that the Department […]

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Defining ‘Employee’ in the Gig Economy

from NYTs There is a long history of businesses that try to deprive workers of the protections and benefits they are entitled to under the law by wrongly treating them as independent contractors, rather than employees. Now, some workers and regulators are accusing companies like Uber, which connects cars with passengers on mobile apps, of doing the same thing to the thousands of drivers, couriers and others who work for them. Agricultural businesses, textile mills, construction firms and other enterprises have often classified workers as contractors to lower their costs by, for example, not paying workers the statutory minimum wage […]

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