An Uber driver in the US today tweeted a photo of the company's office in Rhode Island, showing two bathrooms side-by-side, classified not as 'Male' and 'Female', but 'Partner' and 'Employee', prompting outrage 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?" Uber driver Erika Beets tweeted, along with the photograph.
The @Uber hub in my market has designated bathrooms. Not for male/female, but for partner & employee.— Erika Betts (@ErikaABetts) December 4, 2019
Anyone else think it's strange that Uber views partners & employees as two separate classes of people? pic.twitter.com/3SGeKSae3g
Hours after the tweet, a member from team Uber responded to him stating that the "signs are coming down today".
"Hi Erika - I looked into this. This is not our policy and it's absolutely unacceptable. The signs are coming down today," Andrew Macdonald from team Uber tweeted.
"That bathroom was also being used for employee storage, but that's not an excuse. I don't believe this is the case anywhere else (and it's certainly not our design policy) but we're doing a full review now," Mr Macdonald added.
The tweet was re-posted several hundred times with US Congresswoman from New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, retweeting a news report based on the driver's tweet.
Siri, show me what classism looks like: https://t.co/vUM7Fe7tJz— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 5, 2019
This is such an important piece of information to share. Thank you for tweeting ❤️✊🏼 Drivers are definitely employees and @uber is intentionally misclassifying y'all to evade labor law.— BetchOuttaHell (@MarieAEzy) December 5, 2019
I would love to know why those signs were up and whether other greenlight hubs/uber locations have separate bathrooms. I asked Uber earlier and they just sent me to your tweet— Nitasha Tiku (@nitashatiku) December 4, 2019
Uber has faced several legal challenges this year, with the cancellation of licences in London being the recent one. Drivers across the world have raised concerns regarding their "rights".
In 2018, Uber had lost its a court bid to stop its British drivers being classified as workers, entitling them to rights such as the minimum wage, in a decision which jeopardises the taxi app's business model.