The ride sharing agency Via is under fire from more than 800 drivers for allegations that they were lured with false promises of big profits.
We all read that Uber and Lyft abused their drivers, but have you heard of the allegations against Via? According to more than 800 drivers who work for the ridesharing app, they have been lured with “false promises of big revenue”. In addition, the drivers “wrongly classified them as independent contractors in order to deny them higher wages and health and safety measures”.
Lyft driver in San Francisco; Image by Paul Hanaoka via Unsplash.com.
The complaints filed by Via drivers are similar to those of Uber and Lyft drivers who have struggled for years to be recognized as actual employees who should receive benefits. According to Via Drivers, the company has “announced high revenue for those who signed up to drive but didn’t make it clear how much the gig would cost drivers”. Two drivers claim they ultimately earned less than the minimum wage when all was said and done. One of the drivers, Gideon Itenberg, said he made only $ 4.69 an hour after taxes and expenses. As a driver in New York City, he earned well below the $ 15 minimum wage. Itenberg added that the company “never explained the multitude of fees and costs Via refused to pay for that were passed on to me [to] To cover or deduct my earnings ”, adding that he“ signed up in November 2017 to make some much-needed extra cash ”.
Felix Lam is another driver for Via. According to him, he only made between $ 9 and $ 11 an hour. He and Itenberg fight for justice, claiming Via forced them to agree to settle disputes behind closed doors, but that every driver must pay at least $ 17,000 in fees first.
Via operates in more than 20 countries and even works with governments and schools to support transportation. So far, the ride sharing agency has refused to allow drivers to band together to fight their claims and cut costs. Itenberg said, “I lose no matter what I do.” He hopes the lawsuit will force Via either to pay the “arbitration fees” or to allow a judge to pursue his claims jointly or on another forum.
Commenting on the case, attorney Marc Held said:
“Via refuses to submit to arbitration, refuses to pay the cost of starting the arbitration, and … the cost of arbitration is deliberate, absurd and unnecessarily high compared to almost any alternative.”
When Via responded to the drivers, she said her complaint was “filled with inaccuracies”. It added that it “has consistently paid its drivers above the minimum amount set by the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission and more than other carpooling options.”
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