Uber faces new batch of issues in Tampa Bay
Despite a temporary cease-fire with local regulators, Uber continues to face all sorts of issues in the Tampa Bay market, including a lawsuit, driver protests and the embarassing mistake of revealing a woman's Social Security number to other drivers.
Jami Ermlich, 34, was notified by drivers in several different states on Sunday when the company made her 1099 form available to other drivers. Uber issued a statement saying it was in touch with Ermlich, who lives in New Port Richey, and that it values partner privacy.
"Due to a bug in our system, one partner's 1099 information was viewable by other drivers for a short period of time," the statement said. "The bug has been fixed and we're deeply sorry."
A few days prior, four local drivers filed a federal lawsuit against Uber accusing the rideshare company of violating state and federal labor laws by classifying drivers as independent contractors instead of as employees.
The lawsuit seeks class-action status, which would allow other drivers to join them in their legal action against Uber. The California company faces similar lawsuits in its home state, Oregon and Orlando.
Meanwhile, drivers frustrated with the company for its recent fare drop have staged protests over the past couple weeks. The company announced in the beginning of the month that it would lower fares to 65 cents a mile -- an all-time low for the area -- in order to entice more riders.
Drivers were outraged, saying the new pricing system made it nearly impossible to operate without a loss. Under the new rate, drivers earn about 49 to 52 cents per mile, compared with the 54 cent mileage deduction rate set by the government.
Some drivers are hoping to gain the company's attention by refusing to take rides on Gasparilla, which could cause surge prices to rise as high as 10 times the normal rate.