Lyft joins Uber to end forced arbitration for sexual assault victims

Uber competitor Lyft says it will no longer force victims of sexual assault into arbitration.The news came jus...

Posted: May 15, 2018 10:09 PM
Updated: May 15, 2018 10:09 PM

Uber competitor Lyft says it will no longer force victims of sexual assault into arbitration.

The news came just hours after Uber announced the same change in the wake of a recent CNN investigation into the sexual assaults and abuse by drivers.

The update will apply to riders, drivers and employees who will be able to choose the venue in which they want to pursue redress of their sexual harassment or assault claims, whether that's arbitration, mediation or open court.

Previously, upon signing up for Uber or Lyft services, users had to agree to resolve claims on an individual basis through arbitration. Critics say the practice helps companies keep the issue of sexual violence quiet.

CNN's investigation found at least 103 Uber drivers in the United States who have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing their passengers in the past four years. The drivers were either arrested, are wanted by police, or have been named in civil suits related to the incidents.

At least 31 drivers have been convicted for crimes ranging from forcible touching and false imprisonment to rape, and dozens of criminal and civil cases are pending, CNN found.

A similar CNN review using the same methodology found 18 cases of Lyft drivers accused in the past four years. Four drivers have been convicted.

Related: Uber will no longer force victims of sexual assault into arbitration

There is no publicly available data for the number of sexual assaults by Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare companies. CNN's analysis came from an in-depth review of police reports, federal court records and county court databases for 20 major US cities.

"We agree with the changes [Uber made] and have removed the confidentiality requirement for sexual assault victims, as well as ended mandatory arbitration for those individuals so that they can choose which venue is best for them. This policy extends to passengers, drivers and Lyft employees," said Lyft spokesperson Alexandra LaManna in a statement on Tuesday.

Related: Senator pressures Uber after CNN investigation into driver assaults

In addition, Lyft said it will no longer require confidentiality agreements in exchange for settlements -- a change Uber also made.

During a phone interview with CNN ahead of the Uber announcement on Tuesday, Uber's chief legal officer Tony West said "to be most effective we need everyone in the industry to really follow suit here, for us all to lock arms in this fight against sexual assault."

Uber also promised to publish a safety transparency report that will put numbers behind sexual assaults and other incidents that occur on its platform. Lyft has not yet commented on whether it plans to make similar data public.

The lack of transparency about the number of incidents perpetrated by drivers has been a sticking point by victims in lawsuits.

As part of its investigation, CNN also contacted more than 20 police departments to obtain data on complaints that involved Uber and Lyft drivers and sexual assault. Four police departments - Austin, Boston, Denver and Los Angeles - tracked crimes involving rideshare drivers and shared their data on sexual assault complaints.

Related: Uber tightens driver background checks

CNN did not include most of these complaints in its tally of cases because they could not all be verified with incident reports. However, the numbers suggest that there may be many more overall incidents of sexual assault than the cases found in the investigation.

The Uber news was announced a day ahead of a court-mandated deadline for the company to respond to a proposed class action lawsuit filed by law firm Wigdor LLP on behalf of nine women accusing drivers of sexual assault.

Uber, which has formally responded in court, said the women will now have the choice of bringing their individual assault claims to arbitration, meditation or open court. Uber argued that the women will have to bring other claims in the suit, including unfair business practices, to an arbitrator.

-- CNN's Nelli Black, Curt Devine, Drew Griffin, Majlie de Puy Kamp, Collette Richards and Whitney Clegg contributed reporting.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 698692

Reported Deaths: 13148
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion953091706
Lake50868931
Allen38607670
Hamilton34028404
St. Joseph33404537
Elkhart26868431
Vanderburgh21948393
Tippecanoe21483212
Johnson17346371
Porter17059297
Hendricks16638309
Clark12600190
Madison12239335
Vigo12109243
Monroe11253166
LaPorte10639204
Delaware10251183
Howard9572211
Kosciusko9009112
Hancock7866139
Bartholomew7807153
Warrick7660155
Floyd7509175
Wayne6849196
Grant6732167
Boone648199
Morgan6341137
Dubois6054117
Marshall5720108
Cass5658102
Dearborn565275
Henry5545100
Noble534983
Jackson489869
Shelby474495
Lawrence4304118
Gibson425788
Harrison425370
Montgomery414686
Clinton413953
DeKalb404183
Huntington373180
Whitley372639
Miami369965
Knox363889
Steuben359657
Putnam350760
Wabash344977
Jasper342246
Adams336852
Ripley332668
Jefferson306779
White306054
Daviess288199
Wells283680
Decatur278092
Fayette276762
Greene268785
Posey267533
Scott258753
Clay250944
LaGrange249670
Randolph233679
Washington228929
Spencer227231
Jennings224347
Fountain207245
Sullivan207241
Starke199452
Owen191056
Fulton189139
Jay184829
Carroll184520
Perry178536
Orange175852
Rush169424
Vermillion165543
Franklin164835
Tipton160743
Parke143516
Blackford132130
Pike129634
Pulaski112445
Newton102434
Brown98940
Crawford96814
Benton94913
Martin82115
Warren78715
Switzerland7688
Union69510
Ohio55411
Unassigned0405

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1039455

Reported Deaths: 18827
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1205361345
Cuyahoga1051802040
Hamilton774991164
Montgomery49566984
Summit44613904
Lucas39235757
Butler37466566
Stark31150890
Lorain23831467
Warren23725291
Mahoning20653581
Lake19760360
Clermont19325226
Delaware17811130
Licking15996205
Fairfield15520195
Trumbull15412458
Medina14693255
Greene14510233
Clark13455287
Wood12575182
Portage12183193
Allen11225229
Richland10924197
Miami10470211
Muskingum8653127
Columbiana8482225
Wayne8463209
Pickaway8394120
Tuscarawas8317239
Marion8302135
Erie7434153
Ross6650145
Hancock6608123
Geauga6462146
Ashtabula6374163
Scioto625699
Belmont5523158
Union551747
Lawrence5439102
Huron5237112
Darke5229121
Jefferson5223147
Sandusky5096118
Seneca5050118
Washington5031107
Athens494854
Auglaize470684
Mercer467984
Shelby453489
Knox4339108
Madison417957
Putnam417698
Ashland409186
Fulton402565
Defiance396396
Brown383955
Crawford3827100
Logan370076
Preble368295
Clinton357459
Ottawa352278
Highland345058
Williams318274
Champaign317355
Jackson305051
Guernsey303448
Perry286949
Fayette276348
Morrow272639
Henry261866
Hardin261163
Coshocton256057
Holmes251799
Van Wert237562
Gallia232146
Pike231031
Adams226251
Wyandot224553
Hocking207057
Carroll187846
Paulding167638
Meigs140938
Noble131837
Monroe128541
Morgan105822
Harrison104836
Vinton81013
Unassigned01
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 58°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 57°
Huntington
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 54°
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 56°
Lima
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 55°
Rain showers taper off throughout Sunday evening. Temperatures overnight will drop into the mid to low 40s. Monday, expect more clouds in the morning, with a littler clearer sky in the afternoon. Isolated rain showers possible on Monday. Highs around 60 on Monday.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events