This Week: Uber & Doordash Pledge To Protect Drivers Arrest Amid Protest & Curfew

In this special episode of “This Week In Rideshare News”, Cecily shares:

  • Uber and Doordash is stepping up to protect drivers and political unrest
  • Rideshare drivers feel threatened by South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW)

Cecily:                  Hey guys, it’s Cecily and it’s this week in rideshare news. Uber Eats and DoorDash have pledged to protect workers if they’re wrongfully arrested for violating curfew while delivering on the app. Now, rideshare and delivery drivers have been harassed and some have even been arrested. In one video, a Caviar driver was arrested 28 minutes after curfew. He told him that he was essential and the police said he was not.

Speaker 2:           Are you serious? Look, look, look. Look, I’m not even doing anything.

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Speaker 3:           [inaudible 00:00:33].

Speaker 2:           It tells me on the app that I can show you guys something.

Speaker 3:           Relax.

Speaker 2:           It tells that I can show you guys you can’t arrest me.

Speaker 3:           [inaudible 00:00:40].

Speaker 2:           Are you serious?

Speaker 3:           Calm down.

Speaker 2:           Are you serious?

Speaker 3:           Calm down.

Speaker 2:           For real? Once I told him that I had an exemption for the company I was working for, they told me, “You violated curfew.” And that’s when I just stood quiet.

Speaker 4:           Right.

Speaker 2:           I stood quiet for a few seconds to really think like, “How am I violating curfew if I have an exemption?”

Cecily:                  Some on-demand apps are telling workers that they can continue to work, but lots of people are afraid to risk their safety. To add, many, many people have reported lost wages this week for working limited hours, and also being antagonized on their way to and from work. Many drivers have asked me if they should drive amid curfew, but I do not have a clear-cut answer. If you’re in a market where curfews are imposed, I urge you to pay attention to what’s happening in your city. Even if you are considered essential in your state, a police officer can still decide to arrest you.

Cecily:                  Rideshare drivers receiving unemployment in South Carolina, received a threatening letter about returning to work. The email stated that the agency’s records show the recipient, a self-employed individual, in an industry that has been cleared to re-open or if an employer said that they are up and running, that you should be going back to work. Many drivers just started receiving unemployment and several do not feel safe enough to return to their previous jobs due to COVID-19.

Speaker 5:           The agency’s email was sent to workers who are both self-employed individuals in an industry that has been cleared to reopen and receiving benefits under a federal unemployment program. It goes on to say, “If this is the case, refusing to return to work typically makes a person ineligible to receive unemployment benefits.”

Speaker 6:           We all feel like we’re being threatened. The email stated that our employer said that they are up and running and we should all be going back to work. Well, when we filed for unemployment as self-employed people, we were told to list our employers as us. I should be the one to decide when I’m open.

Cecily:                  The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce had this to share. “The United States Department of Labor clarified that a generalized fear of contracting COVID-19 on the job is not a qualifying eligibility criteria under the CARES Act. Each situation is unique, and the DEW will evaluate the facts of each case to determine whether a self-employed person who chooses to remain closed when authorized to reopen still meets one of the COVID-19 related criteria and the CARES Act to be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits.”

Cecily:                  Now we are following these stories, and we will update you on the states that are ordering people to go back to work. I suspended the, What Would You Do segments. Everything that’s going on, but I wanted to ask a pertinent question. If your state opens up, what are your concerns and how are you managing that concern? Let me know in the comments. If you’re not subscribed, please subscribe. You can find me here every Saturday or on my own channel, Drive Girl Drive, on YouTube and Facebook. Hope you have a wonderful weekend and be safe.



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