Rideshare Drivers’ Safety Complaint Against Lyft & Uber Results in CalOSHA Extending Workplace Protections to Gig Workers

Last week, we scored a big victory on behalf of California drivers! In February, over 2000 drivers and supporters signed our petition to stop Lyft from forcing drivers to accept shared rides during a COVID surge. When Lyft wouldn't take our petition, we filed safety complaints with CalOSHA against both Lyft and Uber. 

Thanks to our collective power, on August 1st, CalOSHA issued citations against Lyft and Uber for violations of COVID safety guidelines. This is a BIG step forward for drivers in California, as this is the first time a state safety agency is asserting that app drivers are worthy of the same workplace protections as any other worker.

Yet even now, both Lyft and Uber are again breaking the law by not notifying drivers about these citations, as required under California law. It is more important than ever that we hold the companies accountable for their failure to take responsibility for keeping their drivers safe by getting this information out as broadly as possible.

RDU will continue to fight for the dignity and safety for all drivers, and together we will WIN!

Citations Sent to the Companies by CalOSHA

Spread the word!

Official OSHA Posting on Citations

==== Press Release and Citation Letters sent to RDU below

LOS ANGELES - On August 1st, 2022, CalOSHA cited Lyft and Uber for COVID safety violations, in response to complaints filed by rideshare drivers in February of this year. 

The citation enumerated the following violations:

  1. Failure to provide, free of cost, face coverings and gloves to drivers, forcing drivers to spend their limited funds to provide PPE for themselves. 

  2. Failure to include drivers in their Injury and Illness Protection Programs for workforce members.

While the drivers’ complaint included the fact that they had not been paid for time spent sanitizing vehicles between passengers, CalOSHA referred those issues - and other issues related to compensation for PPE - to the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement in California.

This is the first time that a state safety agency has extended workplace protections to gig workers, and challenges the companies’ that they have no responsibility to ensure safety of drivers.   

“Finally Uber and Lyft are being held accountable for their lack of attention to drivers’ and passengers’ health and safety in the name of greed,” said Roberto Moreno, a rideshare driver from San Diego, one of the claimants against both Lyft and Uber.  “I am especially thankful that CalOSHA will extend their vail of protection to all drivers. No multimillion dollar corporation is above workers’ rights.”

“I am relieved that a public agency is working in support of the safety of rideshare drivers. But so far Uber & Lyft have not publicly posted to their drivers that indeed we have rights to things like PPE,” said Daniel Russell, one of the drivers who filed the complaints with CalOSHA. Companies are required to post notice when they receive safety violations, under CA Labor Code

During the pandemic, thousands of California app drivers - defined as essential workers - have been impacted by COVID-19, risking health and life with every ride they give. Many have caught COVID and some drivers have died as a result. 

In February 2022, more than 2,000 members of Rideshare Drivers United, drivers, and their supporters signed and delivered a petition to Lyft in response to Lyft’s re-introduction of shared rides during a dangerous COVID surge, increasing both customers’ and drivers’ risks of catching the disease.  Lyft would not accept the petition at their Monrovia field office, so drivers delivered it to a nearby CalOSHA office where they filed complaints against both Lyft and Uber for failure to keep drivers safe during the pandemic.

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