RDU/UCI Deactivation Clinic

Drivers identify deactivations as one of the most pressing issues we face, second only to our low pay. Deactivation can happen to any driver, anytime, and for almost any reason. In a recent study by Asian Law Caucus and RDU, over 40% of drivers will face a deactivation at some point while on the job. Drivers who attempt to get reactivated are subjected to maze of company phone numbers and automated systems, set up to block and exhaust drivers, leaving algorithms and robots as the decision-makers over our lives.


RDU has partnered with UC Irvine's Law Clinic to help drivers navigate the deactivation process, provide resources to overturn unfair terminations, and to help fight for policy changes and regulation to give drivers the means to protect our jobs.

Protecting yourself from Deactivation

Here are some simple steps that you can take to protect yourself from an unjustified deactivation:


Dash Cam - Having a Dash Cam is generally a good idea as a rideshare driver. Dash Cams can provide you evidence you may need to defend yourself from false customer complaints and other safety issues. Without evidence, a deactivation may be your word against the customers, and Uber/Lyft will often side with the customer over you. 


Defensive Reporting - Although you may want to swiftly forget a negative interaction with a customer,  reporting that customer to the company may be the best thing to protect you. A customer can file a complaint against a driver for any reason, even if the driver didn't do anything wrong. If you do not report a negative interaction with a customer, the companies may view your silence as a signal of guilt. In order to protect yourself, be sure to file a report on a negative customer interaction as soon as you finish the ride. This is your chance to tell your side of the story, and it may be the difference of having a deactivation stick to you or not.


Maintain a Rating of 4.8 or higher - The driver rating system is highly flawed, and doesn't always accurately reflect the quality of  service that a driver provides. However, if you are facing a potential deactivation, having a low rating can complicate any measures you take to try to get back onto the platform. Although having a high rating doesn't guarantee your protection against a deactivation, it can be a significant factor in fighting one off.

Conditions we cannot help

If you are facing a deactivation, it's important to know that under the law, Lyft/Uber operate under "at will" employment, which means that they can terminate a driver at anytime for almost any reason. Although RDU and UCI will do everything in our power to assist the drivers, it's important to note that there are cases that we cannot assist due to the limits of the law.


For instance, we are unlikely to be able to help if a driver:

  • If your primarily operate in a state other then California.
  • Was deactivated from a platform other then Lyft or Uber (Such as Doordash, UberEats, InstaCart). 
  • If you're deactivation occurred over 3 years ago.
  • Violated Uber/Lyft's Term of Service.
  • Had no valid license, registration,  or insurance while working.
  • Engaged in criminal activity during work.
  • Had alcohol, drugs, or a firearm in the vehicle while working.
  • Denied ride to passenger with a service animal.
  • Engaged in discrimination or harassment against a protected class (race, gender, sexuality).
  • Had a rating under 4.7.


Conditions we can help

Although the we have little legal protection from termination, there are instances where the companies may have violated the law or their own policies when they deactivated you: 

  • Deactivation was caused by a customer discriminating against the driver's race, gender, sexuality, etc.
  • Driver was not told the reason of the deactivation, or was given contradictory reasons
  • Driver was deactivated after trying to enforce safety guidelines - such as masking. 
  • Driver is deactivated for any reason while having video evidence that the incident did not occur.

Sign up for the clinic

If you are interested in receiving help from the deactivation clinic, please fill out the google form linked below, and a volunteer will contact you if you have a good case that we could assist.