A lawsuit filed against Uber demands the case to be brought into court along with a permanent directive on the company to fully overhaul its safety measures.
The case involves two separate incidents of women who have filed their complaints against the drivers at Uber after falling victim to sexually-natured assaults. In their complaint, the plaintiffs indicated the demand that Uber would have to be more stringent in their safety standards by introducing new processes and measures into their system. These would include the establishment of 24-hour customer support hotlines in all Uber-operated cities; the installation of GPS tracking systems on every Uber-driven car; the disabling of child-lock features on the doors; and enhancing the way it scrutinizes the drivers by conducting in-person interviews and fingerprint-based background checks.
"What Uber does not share with riders is that making the choice to hail a ride after drinking also puts them in peril from the Uber drivers themselves," said the complaint. "By marketing heavily toward young women who have been drinking while claiming that rider safety is its number one priority, Uber is instead putting these women at risk."
Uber states on its website that they practice "strict safety standards" which they supported with a statement that says "the Uber experience has been designed from the ground up with your safety in mind."
The company explains that potential Uber drivers are required to pass a number of background checks which are conducted by a third-party company known as Hirease. The names of would-be drivers in the U.S. are scrutinized from several public records sources that include federal courthouse and county records, criminal database, the registry on national sex offender, motor vehicle data, and Social Security.
Uber further reiterates that they reject any aspiring drivers who have been found to have a case history involving sexual offenses, violent crimes, gun violations, or resisting arrest.
"Our thoughts remain with the victims of these two terrible incidents," said a spokesman for Uber in a statement.
The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages and a permanent directive on Uber's further enhancement of its safety measures.
Uber has a valuation of over $50 billion which makes it the most valuable among the rising tech companies in the "sharing economy" industry. As its popularity grows, so does the controversy surrounding its drivers. Apart from the U.S., the company has faced complaints from passengers who have also claimed of falling victims to driver-inflicted sexual assaults. Some of these cases were found to have been noted from countries such as China, France, India and Canada.