Shortly after Uber announced the end of its forced arbitration policy for individual claims of sexual assault or harassment by Uber drivers, riders or employees, Lyft has done the same, Recode first reported. This means anyone who alleges sexual misconduct at the hands of Lyft drivers, riders or employees won’t have to argue their case behind closed doors. Instead, they can take the claim straight to court.
“Lyft has a longstanding track record of action in support of the communities we serve, from our commitment to the ACLU to standing up for pay equity and racial equality,” a Lyft spokesperson told TechCrunch. “The #metoo movement has brought to life important issues that must be addressed by society, and we’re committed to doing our part. Today, 48 hours prior to an impending lawsuit against their company, Uber made the good decision to adjust their policies. We agree with the changes and have removed the confidentiality requirement for sexual assault victims, as well as ended mandatory arbitration for those individuals so that they can choose which venue is best for them. This policy extends to passengers, drivers and Lyft employees.”
As the Lyft spokesperson noted in their comment, Uber made the decision to drop mandatory arbitration about 48 hours before the company had to respond to a lawsuit filed by 14 women who alleged they were assaulted by their drivers. The women also asked Uber to waive its arbitration clause.