Uber says it has received more than 8,500 arbitration requests because of this delivery charges for certain black property restaurants via Uber Eats.
Uber Eats made the change in June, following racial justice protests surrounding the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man. Uber Eats said it wanted to make it easier for customers to support black property businesses in the United States and Canada. To qualify, the restaurant must be a small or medium business and, therefore, not part of a franchise. In contrast, delivery fees are still in place for other restaurants.
In one of these claims, seen by TechCrunch, a customer claims that Uber Eats violates Unruh’s Civil Rights Act by “charging discriminatory delivery charges based on race (of the company owner)”. That claim seeks $ 12,000 and also a permanent injunction preventing Uber from continuing to offer free delivery from black-owned restaurants.
“We are proud to support black property companies with this initiative, as we know they have been disproportionately affected by the healthcare crisis,” Uber spokeswoman Meghan Casserly said in a statement to TechCrunch. “We heard loud and clear talk from consumers that it was a feature they wanted – and we will continue to make it a priority.”
On the website soliciting customers says eligible people can earn up to $ 4,000 in compensation if they have paid a delivery fee in California since June 4, 2020.
Arbitration requests come as no surprise, as Senator Ted Cruz said he expected Uber to face discrimination cases from restaurants without black property.
It should also be noted that the representative for the client listed in the complaint is Consovoy McCarthy, who includes his partners. President Donald Trump’s lawyer William Consovoy and others.
TechCrunch has reached out to the McCarthy Consovoy and will update this story if we hear it.
These complaints are reminiscent of one that Microsoft makes, even if not at the highest level. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Labor essentially charged Microsoft’s reverse racism (not a real thing) by committing to hiring more black people into its predominantly white company.
Meanwhile, this is just one of the many legal battles Uber is facing these days. On the workers ’side of Uber’s business, a California court of appeals judge recently upheld a decision granting a preliminary injunction to force both Uber and Lyft to reclassify their workers as employees. However, this has not yet come into force. This means that all eyes are on Proposition 22, a California scrutiny measure backed by Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart that seeks to keep gig workers classified as independent entrepreneurs.