A newly filed lawsuit claims Uber broke federal law by providing “as little information as possible” to police and courts in response to subpoenas, search warrants and court orders.
Soha Malik of San Francisco alleged in her suit that she was fired for raising concerns about the Bay Area ride-sharing giant’s responses to official orders to produce information.
Malik was hired in 2020 by a contractor and Uber to help respond to a backlog of hundreds of official demands related to incidents including claims of sexual harassment and homicide, according to her suit filed in San Francisco County Superior Court.
Malik worked directly for Uber managers, who “consistently advised her to focus on being efficient rather than thorough, to give out as little information as possible since their job was ‘to protect the client’ (i.e. Uber drivers), and to not provide information that was ‘too much trouble’ to obtain,” the suit claimed. She was also told not to help any law enforcement agencies because that would “hinder her ability to reduce the backlog,” the suit alleged.
Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Uber’s most recent safety report showed that passengers reported hundreds of incidents of sexual misconduct per year in 2017 and 2018 by Uber drivers, and that dozens of fatal crashes and a handful of deadly assaults occurred annually in connection with Uber rides. The company, like its rival Lyft, is also facing hundreds of lawsuits alleging sexual assault by drivers. Lyft, which last year said it received reports of thousands of sexual assaults related to its rides over three years, did not immediately provide comment on the lawsuits filed against it.
Malik claimed in her suit that while responding to a search warrant that requested the GPS location of an Uber driver, she asked her managers how to find that information. She was told she was “making the job harder than it needs to be,” and was eventually told to contact another Uber department for the information. One manager seemed “especially annoyed” with concerns Malik expressed about Uber’s full compliance with court orders, the suit alleged.
A few months after her hiring, that manager began complaining about Malik’s “numbers,” saying Malik was not addressing and closing out enough subpoenas, court orders and search warrants, the suit claimed. The manager recommended her termination because Malik “repeatedly voiced concerns” that Uber was not complying with federal law in its responses, the suit alleged.
Malik was fired in January 2021, according to the suit, filed Friday.
She is seeking at least $55,000 in purported lost pay and benefits, plus at least $173,000 in damages.