Uber agrees to pay $7.5m to settle background check suit (Sorry again, Uber passengers!)
Another day, another class action suit settled by Uber.
This time, the company has reportedly agreed to pay $7.5m to settle a suit brought by drivers who were terminated by the company for information found in their background checks. The drivers claim the checks were made without their authorization.
Yep, unlike previous suits over inadequate background checks, this suit was brought because drivers claim the checks were too invasive. Ho ho ho.
Of course, all sides will claim to be happy with this outcome: The drivers get some small share of $7.5m (after lawyers have taken their cut) and the company spent a paltry $7.5m -- paltry compared to the $2bn in debt they are reportedly raising, following their $3+bn from the Saudis) -- to clear another legal liability from their desk.
The only group who have nothing to gain here -- once again -- are the riders. Uber has so much money at this point that even the most robust class action can be swept away with a "mere" $100m. Meanwhile the financial settlements prevent courts actually ruling on whether, say, Uber's background checks are adequate, or whether drivers should be subject to the same level of control (and also liability) as regular employees.
Uber has proved something we all suspected: That, in corporate America, even the most egregious bad behavior can be brushed aside if the offending company has enough money to pay off the alleged victims. Or, to put it another way, justice comes done to a question of who has the most billions behind them. That’s a lesson we’ve already learned from the demise of Gawker, and now we’re seeing it as Uber makes it rain on potential litigants to make them shut the hell up about that company’s alleged lawbreaking.