Uber Technologies Inc. is a transportation company that does its business online. The company has its headquarters in San Francisco, California and it has operations in over 500 cities around the world. The company operates the Uber software that allows people to request transportation services through the Uber app on their mobile phones. The service is also available through the Uber Mobile website.
Another characteristic of Uber is that it allows its drivers to make some income through the delivery of foods or transportation of people. These drivers use their cars or they can rent cars and drive with Uber. For a client to enjoy these services, they have to download the Uber app through which they request transport services from the drivers who also have the same app on their phones. The service is location based and as such, one must have their location turned on so that they can request for taxi services.
Is Uber and Uber Services legal in The United States?
It is true to say that Uber is a legal company in the United States. Despite the fact that there are a number of cities and States that may have banned the company from operation, the company is still able to offer its services since the operations are mainly done online.
We can say that the company operates legally in the United States since this is where it is domiciled and where the company started offering its services before spreading to the rest of the world. When you visit the company website, there are a number of legal statements that apply to the drivers and the riders as well.
The company laws states that the company may collect info from the use of the Uber mobile applications by its drivers and clients. These are services provided by Uber USA, LLC and other US affiliates. What this Privacy statement means is that the company is in legal operation in the United States. These Privacy statements apply as from July 25 2015.
The company states that the statements apply to different people who use the Uber services either as drivers or as users. These Privacy statements apply to the different users respectively.
Uber Lawsuits in the USA and the rest of the world
Now, as of mid-2015, Uber was involved in over 170 lawsuits. This does not mean that the company was operating illegally in the various countries and cities where it was operating. There were many protests that were staged in Germany, France, The UK, Spain and many other countries. A number of dangerous incidents have been recorded involving drivers and passengers have been recorded.
The company was banned in a number of countries and it is still involved in disputes with governmental bodies in the USA, Australia and other countries. The major disputes have to do with issues such as employment law, tax, insurance, unfair competition, consumer protection and so on. In the USA, the company has had problems in many states. We shall discuss a few of these problems and where they arose:
Uber paid $77,992 to the state of Alaska and effectively paused operating in Anchorage. The state had argues that the company was classifying its drivers as contractors and not employees. This was said to violate the state law. The company was told to comply with the state law to resume operations.
In California, the company was issued with a cease and desist letter in May 2011. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency argues that the company was operating a taxi service that was not licenced. The company effectively changed name from UberCab and renamed itself Uber. The California Public Utilities Company issued a cease letter to Uber and other taxi companies such as rideshare, Sidecar and Lyft in the fall of 2012. All these companies were each charged $20,000. However, these actions where reversed when an agreement was reached in the interim.
In the state of Illinois, the taxi and livery companies sued Uber in October 2012. The company was accused of violating a number of laws such as consumer protection, fair practices and laws that are designed to protect the public safety.
With all the above suits and protests from companies and government agencies, we can say that the company has come into big problems with the law. However, this is not to say that the company is illegal. The fact that the company has been paying taxes and abiding by the other laws of the states where it operates makes it a legal entity in the United States and several other countries of the world where it operates.