Administrative Law

Uber hit with $7.3M fine in California

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An administrative law judge has slapped the California subsidiary of Uber with a $7.3 million fine for withholding information requested by state regulators, the Associated Press reports.

While Uber provided some information to the California Public Utilities Commission, it refused to report on the provision of disabled-accessible vehicles, areas where drivers refuse requests for rides and the causes of accidents, the CPUC administrative judge ruled, upholding findings by the commission’s staff. The commission had made such reporting part of its agreement to permit the transportation network to operate in the state.

Uber riders use smartphone apps to send requests for rides that go directly to drivers nearby, and the drivers can refuse. The commission wants to look at the fairness applied in such decisions.

Lawyers for the subsidiary, Rasier-CA, argued that the commission received the information it needed. An Uber spokeswoman said the ruling was “deeply disappointing” and that it would be appealed.

Uber’s business model has proved disruptive. Battles over its service in Portland, Oregon, resulted in it suspending operations there, the Associated Press reported.

See also: “Are Lyft and Uber drivers employees? Juries will decide” “Three cities sue Uber, citing noncompliance with state laws and municipal regulations”

ABA Journal: “Internet car companies offer convenience, but lawyers see caution signs”

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