The 2020 coronavirus pandemic caused millions of individuals to lose their jobs or go on temporary furlough. Many were deemed essential workers and had to continue going to work; these individuals included food service workers, medical professionals, and more. However, some of these workers do not have personal transportation, which means they have to rely on other methods. Uber drivers and Lyft drivers did not stop operating throughout the pandemic, and needed to take many precautions to ensure that they would not contract the illness. The companies did not do all they could to ensure that drivers and passengers would be safe and protected, or even compensated. The Downtown LA Law Group has taken on many forms of lawsuits against Uber and Lyft, and these novel claims are testimony to the continued negligent actions of the companies. Clients have asked us numerous questions about claims against Uber and Lyft during this pandemic, some of which include:
California Laws for Sick Leave
- Can I sue Uber if I get coronavirus?
- What are the chances of getting coronavirus as a driver for Lyft?
- What are my chances of getting coronavirus while driving for Uber?
- Is it safe to drive for Uber during coronavirus?
- Is it safe to drive for Lyft during COVID-19?
- Can I still driver for Uber during coronavirus?
In California, employers must provide their workers with compensation for sick leave. The state mandates a minimum of 6 days of sick leave available to workers throughout the year. This mandate only applies to full-time and part-time workers, and not independent contractors.
A law was passed that forced Uber and Lyft to reclassify their drivers are employees and not independent contractors, but the companies have still not done so. As a result, drivers have not received compensation for sick leave and have not had the option to pursue it.
Health Insurance for Uber and Lyft Drivers
Uber and Lyft do not provide health insurance coverage for their drivers, only automobile insurance and liability for injuries. However, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the companies have decided to offer coverage if certain criteria are met.
Uber requires that drivers show proof that they were diagnosed with coronavirus, were placed into quarantine, needed to practice self-isolation due to potential exposure, or were removed from the app at the direction of a health organization. Lyft would provide coverage to individuals who were placed into quarantine or who were diagnosed with the illness.
The trouble with this is that California laws are being circumvented. There are no requirements or minimum illnesses that must be met in order for an employee to use sick leave. He does not need to provide any proof of his illness to his employer. Uber and Lyft are essentially inventing their own rules to pay as little coverage and compensation as possible to the drivers, of which there are thousands in California alone.
Lasting Injuries from Coronavirus
Victims of coronavirus have been seen to have reduced lung capacity over time, as well as blood clots due to a lack of oxygen circulation. They have flu-like symptoms, aches, an inability to move or be physical, and much more. The illness can essentially sideline an individual for weeks, and it is highly contagious. Even asymptomatic individuals or individuals who are barely affected have recommendations to quarantine or self-isolate to prevent the spread of the illness. The 2-week period can even last longer if re-infection occurs.
Uber and Lyft Coronavirus Safety Standards
Although Uber and Lyft have offered health insurance coverage for drivers, they still have differing and lax standards for drivers.
Uber simply recommends that individuals stay home if they feel sick, wash their hands, and clean and disinfect their vehicles to ensure the virus is killed off. Drivers can choose to cancel rides if they feel their health is at risk.
Lyft, on the other hand, has rolled out various updates concerning safety during the pandemic. They are as follows:
- Personal health self-certification for drivers and riders
- No one will drive or ride with Lyft if they have coronavirus, believe they have it, or have fitting symptoms
- Face coverings are required for both drivers and riders
- Health safety education for drivers and riders as provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Windows will be kept open to avoid re-circulated air
- Distribution of cleaning supplies and masks for drivers, who will thoroughly disinfect and clean their vehicles before and after every ride
- Riders must sit in the back seat, not the front seat
The issue with Lyft’s standards is that drivers and riders are self-certifying. There is nothing stopping individuals from simply lying about their health status. It will also be impossible to determine what rider or driver was responsible for spreading the illness.
Neither company has removed the multi-person Pool or Group settings from the app, temporarily. Drivers have largely opted to keep their passenger limit to 1 rider.
Are There New Jobs for Former Uber Drivers? What Are Delivery Jobs for Uber Drivers?
Uber and Lyft do have other forms of jobs available for drivers. UberEats allows drivers to deliver food to customers, while Lyft drivers can still pick up shared bicycles and scooters. These jobs, though, are generally less lucrative than the rideshare options. The companies have not offered the jobs to those temporarily displaced by the pandemic; that is, if you usually pick up passengers for Uber, you cannot automatically switch to food delivery.
Filing a Lawsuit against Uber or Lyft for Coronavirus
If you were afflicted with coronavirus after driving for Uber or Lyft and you were denied health insurance coverage, you can take legal action. You will need the following pieces of evidence:
- Proof of your illness, as Uber required
- Medical bills and receipts, insurance papers, and test results
- Photos of any visible injuries
- Proof of quarantine or self-isolation mandates
- Proof that you were driving for Uber at the time the illness was contracted, such as a screenshot of the app or pictures of your ride history
- Proof that the company refused to provide health insurance coverage after you requested it
Once you have acquired the proof necessary, you can speak with an expert Uber coronavirus lawyer or Lyft coronavirus attorney. We will represent you and ensure that the company is held liable for your losses. We will gather additional evidence, hire expert witnesses, organize your proof, submit your lawsuit, negotiate a fair deal from the insurance agency, ensure that you receive proper health insurance coverage and medical treatment, and more.
The Best Firm in Town
If you need legal assistance to sue Uber or Lyft because you were afflicted with coronavirus after driving for the company, you can contact the Downtown LA Law Group today. We have not stopped working throughout the pandemic and we have redoubled our efforts for our clients. We know how hard these times are, and our dedication and commitment to the pursuit of justice has never been stronger. Our aggressive lawyers will stop at nothing to win you the compensation you deserve due to Uber or Lyft’s mistreatment and misclassification. If we have to go to court to defend your rights, we are more than willing to do so.
Contact our firm today for a free legal consultation to discuss your case. All consultations are completely confidential and none of your private details, case information, medical records, or anything else will be shared outside of our office walls. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and we invite you to ask us any questions you want. We will also tell you what we believe we can win for your case or what the value of it may be.
If you choose to hire us for our services, we will ensure that you pay no out of pocket fees for legal representation. Our zero fee guarantee says that we will not get paid unless and until we win your lawsuit, and the fees will be covered by the settlement awarded by Uber or Lyft. If we lose, we will not take any payment from you at all, and we will eat the costs ourselves.
For more information and health insurance offered by Uber and Lyft during the coronavirus pandemic, or to file a lawsuit against Uber or Lyft for contracting coronavirus, get in touch with the Downtown LA Law Group at once.