Last week, a district court judge allowed a case against Uber to continue in which the company is charged with failing to properly conduct background checks. Women in two separate incidents in which Uber drivers sexually assaulted them have joined to sue the company.
Uber moved to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming no responsibility because the drivers are independent contractors. Citing the unresolved nature of its drivers’ classification, the court is allowing the case to move forward.
“In sum, the Court cannot determine — as Uber effectively argues — that as a matter of law sexual assault by Uber drivers is always outside the scope of employment, if the drivers are in fact ultimately found to be employees. The California Supreme Court has left this question open,” according to court documents. “For the purpose of surviving a motion to dismiss, plaintiffs have plausibly alleged that [the drivers] were acting within the scope of employment when they assaulted plaintiffs.”