Remember when California was the free, do what you want state? Now it’s the ban state!

New court ruling could force Uber, Lyft to convert drivers to employees
California Supreme Court: It’ll be tougher for firms to not have bona fide employees.

The California Supreme Court has ruled that it will now be harder for employers to formally classify their workers as independent contractors rather than employees.

The court’s Monday opinion in Dynamex v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County could have a profound impact on many tech companies like Uber, Lyft, Instacart, and others that provide on-demand services. Dynamex is a courier and delivery company based in Kent, Washington.

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Detective suspended after Uber driver attack

SEATTLE — The King County Sheriff’s Office says a detective was suspended for four days without pay after an internal investigation determined she punched, kicked, scratched and slapped an Uber driver while she was off duty.

King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht said this week that detective Janette Luitgaarden would serve the suspension for unbecoming conduct in the Nov. 4, 2017 incident.

The Washington State Patrol said Luitgaarden appeared significantly intoxicated after she attacked the driver while the car was southbound Interstate 405.

A police report says that Luitgaarden began yelling that she was being kidnapped while in the vehicle and tried to jump out of the moving car.

The report says she attacked the driver after the driver grabbed her arm to keep her from jumping.

Luitgaarden’s union representative said she was experiencing personal problems that night and was embarrassed by her actions.

Uber allowing service to be denied to Unite the Right marchers

Marchers in this weekend’s Unite the Right 2 white nationalist rally may have a harder time getting a ride or a room. Uber, Lyft and Airbnb are allowing drivers and hosts to deny service to potential customers who participate in the rally in Washington, D.C.

Each company issued statements this week that did not directly denounce Unite the Right marchers but made clear that providers can refuse service to anyone who makes them uncomfortable or violates guidelines against discrimination.

Lyft said it had made clear to drivers in the D.C. area that “their safety comes first.”

“If they ever feel uncomfortable or disrespected by a passenger, they can cancel that ride,” the ride-share company said in a statement to CBS News.

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Uber Driver Found Guilty of Raping Unconscious Passenger

An Uber driver who picked up a drunken woman at a D.C. bar and sexually assaulted her at a motel while she was unconscious has been found guilty of rape.

A jury convicted Westagne Pierre of second-degree rape Wednesday evening.

“This horrified all of us because so many rely on Uber to be transported around,” Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said at a news conference Friday.

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Why New York City’s drunk driving accidents have gone way down since 2011

There were 111 million self-reported cases of alcohol-impaired driving in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Drunk driving killed nearly 10,000 people in the U.S. that same year, about a third of all traffic related deaths, amounting to 28 people killed each day. Damage caused by drunk driving costs more than $44 billion annually.

Many efforts have tried to address the problem with ad campaigns, more severe punishments and increased efforts by law enforcement to monitor and stop drivers, with varied results. But it turns out a business just trying to make money may have had one of the most significant effects on the problem, at least in America’s most densely populated city.

The ride-sharing application Uber was introduced to most boroughs of New York City in May 2011 and was adopted quickly. A new working paper by Jessica Lynn Peck of the Graduate Centre at the City University of New York found that the city has seen a 25 to 35 percent decrease in alcohol-related crashes since then, amounting to about 43 fewer crashes per month. The paper analyzed data between January 2007 and July 2013.

New York City has widespread access to taxis and other public transportation, so why would Uber make such a large difference? The study doesn’t provide a definitive answer, but Peck does speculate that it has to do with Uber’s simplicity and less wait time for customers.

Read more here: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article143043959.html#storylink=cpy

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DUI arrests in South Florida plummet. Uber, Lyft, millennials among the reasons why

n South Florida, clubs are open late, booze flows freely and the public transportation system leaves a lot to be desired. But the number of drunk drivers on the road appears to be going down.

At least the number of them getting caught is.

In the past four years, DUI arrests made by Miami-Dade’s two largest police departments have plummeted. In Miami-Dade, the largest police department in the Southeastern U.S., arrests were down a staggering 65 percent in 2017 from four years earlier. Miami-Dade police arrested more than 1,500 people each year from 2013 through 2015. Only 594 were arrested on the same charge last year.

Read more here: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article215758380.html#storylink=cpy

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There are Real über Pirates!

I was actually checking to see how this site is doing online and found, while searching on Google, that there are actual folks who rip off über drivers.

According to the online Urban Dictionary, “A passenger who steals or pirates services of an Uber or Lyft Driver by placing their destination close to original start point and then asks for the driver to drive them to different stops along the way,taking up time that wasn’t paid for.”

Another version of the über pirate is the driver who leaves the app to make money driving without über’s knowledge.
Check out this story: I Was an Uber Pirate

Who knew?. . . .now YOU do!

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Extra Buck for Electric?

Uber drivers who use electric vehicles may be getting a raise under a new pilot project. The company launched a broad effort on Tuesday to get drivers to ditch their dirty, fossil fuel-burning vehicles in favor of cleaner, electric-powered ones — in part by offering them more money to make the switch.

Extra Buck for Electric?

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