Lyft is a ride-sharing service that connects people with drivers through a phone application. The service is widely praised by individuals advocating against drunk driving. However, it is recently facing public backlash due to 14 lawsuits that claim the organization mishandled sexual assault, sexual misconduct, and rape claims against its drivers.
The lawsuit, filed by 14 female victims, claimed that Lyft failed to disclose information that identified drivers accused of sexual assault or rape. Similarly, the lawsuit accused Lyft of failing to perform adequate background checks. Both accusations indicate that the ride service failed to ensure customer safety.
This lack of safety protocol leads to hundreds of sexual assault accusations per year. Many victims also noted that Lyft failed to adequately investigate victim reports. Many victims are currently left unsure of whether their abuser still works for the ride-sharing company after a report is filed. Ultimately, critics claimed that Lyft is continuing a sexual predator crisis.
The victim accounts of the incidents are chilling. One of the victims, a blind woman, claimed that after her Lyft driver dropped her off at a grocery store, the driver offered the victim a free ride home. After driving her back, he forced himself into her home and raped her. The victim reported the incident using the Lyft app on her phone. However, she claimed that the police investigation into her report was eventually closed because there was no evidence that the incident was non-consensual.
This victim is not the only one who received lackluster responses from Lyft regarding sexual assault claims. Many of the victims claimed that they did not receive a notification of whether their driver still worked for Lyft after filing their report. When describing Lyft’s handling of their cases, many of the victims claimed that the company was unresponsive.
There are various ways Lyft can improve the way it handles sexual misconduct reports. To avoid putting customers at risk, drivers should conduct thorough background checks of their drivers on a regular basis. When a driver is accused of sexual misconduct, they should likely be removed from driving until the investigative process is complete. When a driver is guilty, they should be immediately terminated, and the victim should be notified of their employment status. Drivers who are accused of sexual misconduct more than once should be terminated. Customers should also be notified if a driver has been accused of sexual misconduct on previous rides. These steps would help promote customer safety.
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