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Uber Appeals a $59 Million Fine Issued by the California Public Utilities Commission

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2021 | Employment Law

The dispute between Uber and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPCU) occurred after Uber voluntarily disclosed an 84-page “safety transparency” report which revealed around 6,000 cases of sexual assault that took place during rides in 2017 and 2018. [1]

Uber v. CPCU

In December 2019, Uber released a safety report revealing 6,000 sexual assault reports connected with 2.3 billion trips that took place in the United States in 2017 and 2018. The voluntary, 84-page “safety transparency” report, which revealed around 6,000 cases of sexual assault that took place during rides in 2017 and 2018, was meant to display Uber’s commitment to safety.

In December of 2020, the California Public Utilities Commission fined Uber Technologies, $59 million for Uber’s failure to provide detailed information regarding the sexual assault incidents that took place during rides. The information CPUC requested included providing the full names and contact information of victims.

Uber argued compiling to CPUC’s demands would be in violation the victims’ right to privacy. [2] A CPUC administrative judge stated “privacy concerns could be addressed by replacing victims’ names with a code to allow commission staff to conduct follow-up investigations, but upheld the $59 million fine against the company.” Recently, Uber Technologies appealed a $59 million fine issued by the California Public Utilities Commission for their refusal to disclose the contact information of the victims.

Uber’s Public Support

Uber’s appeal has received public supported by advocacy group, RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) who wrote, “Companies should be commended, not penalized, for their transparency and commitment to protecting survivors.” While CPUC alleged Uber’s data compliance “could help it prevent future incidents and ensure ride-hailing was operating safely in the state,” Uber argued their compliance “could re-traumatize the victims and jeopardize their anonymity.” If Uber loses their appeal, they will need to pay the $59 million fine.

Consult with an Accomplished Sexual Harassment Law Firm in California

We at Makarem & Associates encourage sexual assault survivors to speak out. If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual harassment, you can receive the right legal advice from highly experienced sexual harassment attorneys at Makarem & Associates in California. Call 310-312-0299 today or email at [email protected] to receive the right legal counsel.

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