Uber Offers to Pay Drivers’ Health Insurance – Then Backtracks

Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi, pictured in 2016
AFP

Ridesharing giant Uber sent an email to some of its drivers and delivery workers last month offering to cover their health insurance costs, but backtracked on the offer two weeks later.

The Verge reports that ridesharing company Uber sent out an email to some of its drivers and delivery workers last month offering to pay for some of their health insurance costs, but just two weeks later the company revoked this offer.

On May 26, an email from Uber with the subject line “It’s a great time to get health coverage” was sent to an unknown number of the company’s drivers and delivery workers. The email informed workers that “Uber can help cover your healthcare costs.”

Drivers and couriers for the company are classified as independent contractors which makes them ineligible for employer-sponsored health insurance plans, but for years many workers have lobbied for more benefits and protections facing strong opposition from Uber in response.

As a result, many drivers were shocked to see an email from Uber offering subsidies ranging from $613.77 to $1,277.54, depending on the type of insurance plan they had and how many hours they worked each week.

But it turns out the email was sent in error, Uber only planned to send the email to drivers and delivery workers in California, not any other state. “Unfortunately, we made a mistake sending this email to you, as this policy only applies to drivers and delivery people in California,” Uber said in an email to one driver. “We sincerely apologize for this error.”

A spokesperson told the Verge that the company’s support team is working with drivers and delivery workers who received the email by mistake. Edward Burmila, a political science professor who lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, and has previously driven for Uber, received one of the emails about healthcare subsidies and stated: “I may be an atypical Uber driver — I have a PhD and so tend to think of these things in a political context — but it is part of the ludicrous song-and-dance the ride-share companies are always doing to maintain the fiction that their labor force are not employees or workers.”

He added, “It also demonstrates that they’ll provide benefits — for riders or for passengers — only when they are forced to.”

Read more at the Verge here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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