Lyft drivers in Atlanta are questioning what they are calling unfair deactivations of their rideshare accounts. Drivers are looking for answers from the rideshare company and are asking for more worker protections.
The “unjust deactivations” are allegedly the result of minor complaints like riders being upset about wearing a mask or for a car being too dirty. The growing number of accusations against drivers in resulting in them losing their jobs.
The deactivations are coming at a time where rideshare companies are struggling to find drivers, and riders are facing increased fees and longer wait times.
Albert Wells, one of the Lyft drivers looking for answers, has been a rideshare driver for nearly five years. The company permanently deactivated his account, which held a five-star rating. According to Wells, “They’ll make a complaint. A false complaint. We don’t make money, whenever they deactivate us, we don’t make money. They will send you an email, they tell you safety concerns it doesn’t tell you what it is, it don’t tell you when it occurred. I’ve been with them for almost five years now.”
Another driver, Janice, who requested only the use of her first name, spoke with WSB-TV 2 about her deactivation. Janice claims her account was deactivated after a rider complained about the way she talked to him. Both Wells and Janice believe deactivations for smaller complaints are wrong.
Per Lyft’s police, rideshare drivers can be deactivated for a number of reasons. Some of the most common include smoking, having a dirty vehicle, low driver rating, or outdated documents. The more serious violations include discrimination, assaulting a passenger, or having a criminal background.
Lyft claims to investigate complaints before deactivating accounts, but advocacy groups in Georgia are calling out wrongful deactivations, citing exaggerated passenger complaints. Advocacy groups are hoping the Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2021 will pass, as it could give drivers, including those considered independent contractors, more protections. The bill has passed through the House and is in the Senate.
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