Posts Tagged ‘taxis and ridesharing’

What big fines you have, California

The California Public Utilities Commission has voted to approve a $7.6 million dollar fine levied against ride-sharing app provider Uber “for not adequately reporting legally-demanded data on its service to the disabled.” The paperwork dispute is distinct from any actual proceedings over claims of service denial. [Brian Doherty, Reason; earlier and related on what Doherty calls California’s “regulatory war on Uber” here (employee status of drivers), here (CEQA), etc.]

“Former Taco Bell Exec Sues Uber Driver He Attacked For $5 Million”

“The Taco Bell exec who got canned from his job after he was caught on video drunkenly attacking his Uber driver is suing the driver for $5 million. … The suit says that it’s against California state law to record someone without their consent.” A lawyer for Uber driver Edward Caban says plaintiff Benjamin Golden’s lawyer is incorrectly invoking the California law, which he says bans audio but not video recording. [LAist]

N.B. Note reader David C.’s advice in comments that the privacy suit appears to be a counterclaim to an existing lawsuit by the driver, always an important piece of context, and that the in-car tape recorded both audio and video of the incident.

Toronto cab scam and the risks of regulation

Canada’s National Post reports that what police consider to be probably a “network of a few people” at more than one cab company have been victimizing unwary riders by sliding their bank cards through an unauthorized point-of-sale machine and handing a replica card back to them. The card is then used to drain the victim’s bank account. TD Bank alone says it is handling 65 claims following this pattern. The online payment mechanism used in ridesharing services appears to be more secure against scams of this sort, but the operations manager for one of the taxi companies is touchy on that point: “To suggest that this has anything to do with taxis vs. Uber is ludicrous,” she tells the NP.

Which raises the question: if Uber and Lyft were the older technology, would cities following the Precautionary Principle legalize taxis for hail? Of course, to those of us who elevate principles of liberty over the regulatory precautionary principle, the answer is clear: legalize both kinds of service, and let consumers decide for themselves which risks they are willing to run. But wouldn’t it be absurd to ban the safer service and thus force people to use the riskier?

Labor roundup

  • “NLRB: Unions have a right to know employees home phone numbers. If firms don’t have them, they must obtain them.” [@JamesBSherk summarizing Sean Higgins/Washington Examiner on Danbury Hospital case]
  • Subpoenas get NLRB into redaction fight with McDonald’s [Sean Higgins/Examiner; more on joint-employer battle from International Franchise Association via Connor Wolf, Daily Caller]
  • George Leef reviews Daniel DiSalvo’s book on public sector unionism, Government Against Itself [Forbes]
  • “Seattle May Soon Force Uber And Lyft Drivers To Unionize” [Connor Wolf/Caller]
  • Your periodic reminder that the “add union organizing to protected classes under civil rights law” formula is one of the worst ideas ever [Jon Hyman, Wolf/Caller on Workplace Action for a Growing Economy (WAGE) Act sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.)]
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch: my proposed Employee Rights Act would “allow workers a greater role in how their union represents them” [Washington Times, background at Washington Examiner]
  • Philadelphia union extortion and violence episode is a reminder it’s past time to revisit 1973 SCOTUS case of U.S. v. Enmons which tended to give a green light to such things [Mark Mix, Washington Times]

Wage and hour roundup

  • “No unpaid internship in the for-profit sector ever has or ever will satisfy these [USDOL] rules” [Bryan Caplan]
  • Obama wage/hour czar David Weil doubles as a key ideologist of the kill-outsourcing crowd [Weekly Standard, related earlier on NLRB move against franchise and subcontract economy]
  • “A $15-hour minimum wage could harm America’s poorest workers” [Harry Holzer, Brookings] Alderman Antonio French, a key Ferguson protest figure, opposes minimum wage hike in St. Louis [Washington Post “WonkBlog”]
  • “Andrew Cuomo’s leftward lurch: Calling for a $15-an-hour minimum wage is his latest out-of-character move” [Bill Hammond, NY Daily News] Since minimum wage hike, mini-recession has hit employment in Los Angeles hotel sector [Ozimek]
  • Court ruling: Yelp reviewers volunteer their reviews and are not entitled to be paid for them [Courthouse News]
  • 400 Uber drivers: don’t let them take away our independent contractor status [Daniel Fisher, Forbes] Mandated benefits and the “Happy Meal Fallacy” [Tabarrok]
  • “Bill Would Make Maryland Employers Set Work Schedules Earlier” [WAMU on Del. David Moon’s “Fair Work Week Act”; related on national “Schedules That Work” Democratic legislation, Connor Wolf/Daily Caller]

August 5 roundup

  • Makes perfect sense: to make transportation more accessible to its residents, Montgomery County, Maryland orders 20 taxi companies to close down [Washington Post]
  • “New ‘Gainful Employment’ Rule Spells Trouble For For-Profit Law Schools (And Would For 50 Non-Profit Law Schools)” [Caron, TaxProf]
  • “To comply with a twisted interpretation of TCPA, Twitter would have to stop providing certain services altogether.” [Harold Furchtgott-Roth] “New FCC Rules Could Make Polling More Expensive, Less Accurate” [HuffPost Pollster]
  • To draft the unpassable bill: Scott Shackford on the politics and bad policy behind the omnibus LGBT Equality Act [Reason] “So How Can Anyone Be Opposed to Non-Discrimination Laws?” [Coyote] More: Establishment liberalism reluctant to admit it’s changed its thinking on religious accommodation, but that’s what’s happened [Ramesh Ponnuru/Bloomberg View]
  • Update: “Court rejects claim over goat goring in Olympic National Park” [AP, earlier here and here]
  • “I would receive 100 other identical stories [from asylum seekers] with only the names changed.” [The Australian, 2013]
  • “Some protested that DNA testing amounted to a violation of canine privacy because dogs were not capable of consent.” [New York Times on Brooklyn condo dispute via @orinkerr]

July 22 roundup

July 8 roundup