Uber adds option to tip drivers as it heads in new direction

Uber Adds Option to Tip Drivers as it Heads in New Direction

Because it's the right thing to do, it's long overdue, and there's no time like the present,"se it's the right thing to do, it's long overdue, and there's no time like the present", said Schildkrout. Disturbing sexual harassment allegations came to light earlier this year, and just last week CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick took an indefinite leave of absence after the passing of his mother.

The new 180-campaign comes as Uber is trying to fix its image after being rocked by a series of scandals.

In response to this avalanche of bad press, the company is in a vulnerable position.

Uber drivers are independent contractors, not employees, and lack paid sick leave and vacation, and must pay for auto maintenance and other costs.

"Today, we're making a commitment". The new in-app option is part of 180 Days of Change, an initiative to make "meaningful changes to the driving experience".

"A friend recently asked me, 'What went wrong?' and the answer is that we had not listened well enough to those who got us here ... our team and especially our drivers", wrote Camp in a Medium post titled "Uber's path forward".

The tipping option, long available in the app of Uber rival Lyft, will be available beginning Tuesday in three cities - Seattle, Houston and Minneapolis. Shannon Liss-Riordan, an attorney who represents drivers in the California and MA lawsuits, welcomed the change. The issue had been a longstanding source of disagreement between Uber and its drivers.

Uber Adds Option to Tip Drivers as it Heads in New Direction

In addition to tipping and wait fees, Uber appears to be responding to driver concerns over its new teen rider program.

Uber says that if the tipping trials are successful (the criteria for that is unclear), it will be rolling out tipping for all markets by the end of July.

But Uber repeatedly refused to include the option, citing a "hassle-free" experience that's better for drivers and riders.

While Uber did not implement a tipping function, it did clarify its stance on tipping on its website. The Guild has been pressuring both Uber and regulators to introduce tipping for more than a year.

"All that tipping has helped propel billions in driver earnings". This week, Lyft announced drivers had earned $250 million in tips. However, it clarified that tips were included in the fare after the company settled two class action lawsuits in April 2016 in MA and California over whether drivers were employees or independent contractors and set up an driver appeal process in those states.

So, after all of that, why is Uber now accepting tips? But the move to embrace the practice marks a big turnaround for the ride-hailing company. The company's feelings about tipping have likely not changed, but it is changing the policy to soften its public image.

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