Drivers Union says Uber plan hides limitations and exclusions in the fine print.
Under pressure from Drivers Union advocates, on Friday Uber announced changes to its COVID sick pay plan. While the new plan expands eligibility to some drivers with underlying health conditions who were previously denied, Uber hid in the fine print new restrictions on eligibility and cuts to sick pay benefits.
The new plan:
- Restricts eligibility to drivers who have driven within 30 days of applying, effectively prohibiting drivers from receiving support who followed the recommendation of public health officials and stopped working during the crisis.
- Eliminates transparency for how driver sick pay is calculated.
- Caps sick pay at $459 for 2 weeks. For a full-time driver, that works out to a maximum sick pay of just $5.74 per hour.
“A program that is full of fine print and exclusions, and caps driver pay at less than 40% of minimum wage is a PR plan, not a sick pay plan,” said Peter Kuel, an Uber and Lyft driver for 7 years and President of the Drivers Union.
Drivers Union is calling for full sick pay benefits for all drivers without the fine print and exclusions.
“Unfortunately, I’ve come to realize you always need to watch out for the fine print and exclusions in Uber’s policies,” said Jake Lindsay, who has been an Uber and Lyft driver for 5 years and has given 8,628 rides.
Lindsay also has an auto-immune disease, a suppressed immune system, and a history of severe respiratory illness. So, when the first cases of COVID-19 hit Washington, he stopped working to protect his health based on advice of his doctor.
Under Uber’s previous policy, Lindsay was ineligible because the plan didn’t provide coverage for drivers with pre-existing health conditions. Now, he’s ineligible because he didn’t put his life at risk by transporting passengers while COVID was spreading.
“At first I’m excluded from support because pre-existing conditions aren’t covered, now because I followed doctor’s orders to protect my health,” said Lindsay. “Does the last 5 years I spent working for Uber mean nothing?”