WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A viral tweet by a former Uber driver reveals an Uber business place in Rhode Island had separate bathrooms for employees and drivers.
- A spokesperson for the ride-share company confirmed the setup and said that: “This was a mistake and we regret it. We are removing the signs and have made it clear that this was not appropriate.”
- Though some Twitter users were angered by the distinctions, some came to the defense of the separate bathrooms, pointing out that “Drivers aren’t always the cleanest people on the planet.”
After facing backlash over having separate bathrooms for corporate employees and drivers, Uber has apologized for the ‘mistake’.
The revelation came after Uber driver Erika Betts, visited one of the company’s offices in Providence, Rhode island earlier this week. Betts noticed there were two clearly marked signs outside the restroom area — designating “employees” vs. Uber drivers, which the company calls “partners.”
Betts made the discovery inside an Uber “Greenlight Hub” — special offices the ride-share company uses for driver support and recruitment. She later posted an image of the designated bathrooms on Twitter.
The @Uber hub in my market has designated bathrooms. Not for male/female, but for partner & employee.
Anyone else think it’s strange that Uber views partners & employees as two separate classes of people? pic.twitter.com/3SGeKSae3g
— Erika Betts (@ErikaABetts) December 4, 2019
“Anyone else think it’s strange that Uber views partners & employees as two separate classes of people?” Betts captioned the photo.
Twitter users, including other Uber drivers, shared their outrage over the corporate division.
One commented: “This is such an important piece of information to share. Drivers are definitely employees and @uber is intentionally misclassifying y’all to evade labor law.”
While some Twitter users referenced that fact in defense of the separate bathrooms, telling Betts they agreed with the distinctions.
“As a part-time driver and user when out of town, I think the employees are entitled to a clean bathroom,” another wrote. “Drivers aren’t always the cleanest people on the planet. So, yes, I support that decision.”
Betts continued to express her dissatisfaction and told VICE that she found the separate bathrooms to be “obscure and uncalled for.”
“I feel the company’s driver support system is laughable at best,” Betts told the magazine. “The Greenlight Hub is the best option drivers have, despite the limited authority provided by the hub representatives.”
Uber immediately apologized for the bathrooms, with one employee, Andrew Macdonald, telling Betts on Twitter that the situation would be fixed right away.
“This is not our policy and it’s absolutely unacceptable,” Macdonald tweeted Wednesday evening. “The signs are coming down today.”
Uber continued to publicly express its regret for the restrooms, with a spokesperson also confirming with VICE that the signs were being removed.
“This was a mistake and we regret it,” an Uber spokesperson told VICE.