Rebecca Bernard
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New Uber Drivers Can Opt-Out of Arbitration

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Photo: Quote Catalog

When you sign up to use an app, you usually have to agree to its terms and conditions, and if you are like a lot of other people, you probably don’t read them too closely. If you’re signing up to be an Uber driver, it pays to look closely at its agreement and learn more about how you can opt-out of arbitration. 

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If you have a problem with a company you’re employed by or serve as a contractor for (in the case of Uber drivers), suing them in court can be used as a last resort to settle the matter. However, when you agree to Uber’s terms and conditions, you’re saying that you waive your right to sue the company and agree to arbitration. That means any cases you might bring against them would be heard by a third party who chooses the solution. It’s a faster process than going to court, but it also limits your options and keeps everything out of the public eye. If Uber plays its cards right, it could also make sure your case goes to an arbiter that might be biased towards the ride-share company’s case.

It might be disheartening to know you’re giving up one of your fundamental rights by signing up with Uber, but the good news is that a court ruled that the company had to offer a way to opt-out of the arbitration clause. According to Jalopnik, you have to send the following information to

  • a statement that makes clear you are opting out of the arbitration provision
  • your name
  • your phone number associated with your Uber account
  • and the city you live
  • It wouldn’t hurt to clearly state the email address associated with your Uber account as well, even if the opt-out provision doesn’t specifically state that you must

Unfortunately, you have to reclaim your rights within 30 days from accepting the terms and conditions. If you are an existing Uber driver and you accepted the new T&C when they first rolled out, your window to reclaim your rights closed earlier this month.

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Consider taking back your rights before you agree to drive for Uber. You could always agree to arbitration later, but if you don’t send the email you won’t be able to sue or join a class-action lawsuit.