PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Uber drivers in Washington can undergo a new appeals process if they’ve been suspended or removed from the rideshare app, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries announced Monday.
Under the agreement, Uber drivers can file appeals through the Driver Resource Center if they lose access to the app for three or more days. However, drivers cannot appeal if their account deactivation was due to sexual harassment, sexual assault, physical assault, discrimination, fraud or driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, officials explained.
The first-in-the-nation agreement between Uber and the Driver Resource Center, will impact about 35,000 Uber drivers in the state, officials said.
Announcing the appeals agreement, officials said rideshare companies block drivers if they believe company rules were violated — with lesser violations resulting in suspension and more serious violations resulting in permanent removal.
“Many drivers rely on these rides for their livelihood, and when they can’t access the platform, they can’t provide for themselves and their families,” said Celeste Monahan, assistant director of L&I’s Fraud Prevention and Labor Standards division. “This agreement upholds the rights drivers were granted by the Legislature and guarantees access to an expedited appeals process.”
Monahan added, “we are proud to approve the first-in-the-nation agreement for Uber drivers and look forward to receiving agreements from the other transportation network companies operating in Washington.”
The agreement requires both parties to attempt to resolve the issue within 30 days of an appeal, but if unsuccessful, Uber is required to show just cause and must provide third-party dispute resolution. The rideshare app is also required to respond to drivers about deactivations within two weeks and drivers can collect lost earnings if they win their appeal, the department said.
“Uber’s policy helps ensure the safety and integrity of our platform and upholds fairness and transparency for drivers,” added Camiel Irving, head of US Mobility for Uber Technologies, Inc. “We appreciate the collaboration with the Drivers Union of Washington and L&I on a clear and equitable path to appeal, empowering drivers to have their concerns addressed.”