TIMELINE: Sexual misconduct allegations plaguing ride-hailing companies

Byby Juan Carlos Guerrero KGO logo
Friday, May 18, 2018
Sexual misconduct at ride-hailing companies
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A short timeline of the sexual misconduct allegations that have plagued ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft in the San Francisco Bay Area during the past four years.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Ride-hail companies like Uber and Lyft have been plagued with allegations of sexual assault, harassment and violence by their drivers. In the case of Uber, there have also been a string of high-profile incidents of alleged sexual misconduct and sexism among corporate employees.

Here is a timeline, starting with the most recent, of the more prominent cases affecting the Bay Area during the past four years.

May 14, 2018

Uber announced it will no longer force passengers who claim they have been sexually assaulted or harassed by drivers into arbitration. Uber will allow victims of sexual violence, including drivers and employees, to choose whether they want to present a claim in arbitration, mediation or open court.

VIDEO: More details on Uber's decision on arbitration

April 30, 2018

A CNN investigation found 103 Uber drivers had been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing passengers in past four years. At least 31 drivers have been convicted for crimes that range from forcible touching and false imprisonment to rape.

April 8, 2018

A Lyft driver, 24-year-old Jaswanthreddy Baireddy, was charged with sexually assaulting a female passenger he picked up in Oakland. Police said Baireddy took the drunk woman to his home in Fremont, where he drugged her and raped her.

VIDEO: More details on the sexual assault

Nov 14, 2017

Nine women who allege they were assaulted, raped, harassed or kidnapped by Uber drivers filed a class-action lawsuit against the company. Later, more women joined the suit.

Nov 9, 2017

California state regulators approved new rules for drivers at ride-hailing companies that would ban those who have been convicted of rape, murder and other violent felonies. The regulations also include background checks every year but do not require drivers be fingerprinted like some law-enforcement officials wanted.

VIDEO: More on background checks for Uber and Lyft drivers

September 22, 2017

A 16-year-old sued Uber in San Francisco after she claimed a driver asked her to sit in the front seat, asked her about her virginity and made other lewd comments. The lawsuit says Uber canceled the teen's account after the complaint. Uber says it did so because the teen was too young to use the service.

August 29, 2017

A ride-hailing driver, Esam Abualshaar, was arrested in San Francisco on suspicion of uploading and trading child pornography online.

June 20

Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick was forced to resign by the company's board of directors in the wake of sex scandals involving himself and employees.

VIDEO: More on Kalanick's resignation

June 17, 2017

An Uber passenger in San Jose recorded a driver having a conversation with another passenger in which the driver talks about wanting to take advantage of drunk female passengers. The driver is heard saying on the recording, "Half the work is already done, man. She's isolated, and she's drunk." Uber banned the driver after the recording was made public.

VIDEO: Listen to more of the recording between the passenger and the driver

June 13, 2017

Uber board member David Bonderman resigned after making a sexist joke during a meeting at the company. It came after another board member, Arianna Huffington, commented about the need to add more women to the board. Bonderman replied that would just create more chatter at the meetings. The board later adopted recommendations to change the company culture.

VIDEO: Hear the exchange between Huffington and Bonderman

June 6, 2017

Uber fired 20 employees after it investigated 215 claims of sexual harassment at the company. 31 other employees were required to get training or counseling.

VIDEO: More on the firing at Uber

May 26, 2017

Moraga police arrested an Uber driver, Leonid Beker, after a female passenger accused him of sexual battery.

VIDEO: Watch reporter Cornell Barnard track down the accused driver

March 27, 2017

The tech news site, The Information, reported that Uber CEO Kalanick and other senior employees reportedly went to an escort and karaoke bar during a 2014 trip to Seoul, South Korea. A female marketing manager at the company filed a human resources complaint about the incident.

February 19, 2017

Former Uber engineer Susan Fowler wrote a blog post in which she described a culture of sexism at the company. Fowler said a manager propositioned her for sex shortly after she was hired. She said complaints to human resources about harassment were not investigated.

December 10, 2016

A 24-year-old woman who was intoxicated claimed she was kidnapped by a ride-share driver who picked her up in San Francisco. The woman said the driver propositioned her and threatened her.

November 24, 2016

A Sacramento woman claimed a ride-share driver made sexual advances after picking her up and later would not drop her off. The woman called her father who yelled at the driver, who then let the woman out of the car. Uber later revoked the man's account.

Nov 19, 2016

Two female students at the University of California Davis told police an Uber driver threatened to kidnap them and take them to Sacramento. The women were let out of the car unharmed.

November 3, 2016

Uber settled a lawsuit by two women who allege they were sexually assaulted by drivers. In the settlement, Uber agreed it would no longer call itself "the safest ride on the road" or "the gold standard".

October 30, 2016

Palo Alto Police arrested an Uber driver, Pedro Liborio-Anorve, for suspicion of groping a female passenger.

VIDEO: More details from police on the incident

October 15, 2016

A woman claimed an Uber driver threatened to rape and kill her after she cancelled a ride in San Francisco. Uber deactivated the driver's account.

VIDEO: Hear the woman recount the incident

September 21, 2016

A Napa woman says she was kidnapped on her way home from Sacramento International Airport by an Uber driver who threatened her and made lewd comments. The woman was let out safely after she said her husband was waiting for her nearby.

July 23, 2016

An Uber driver, Rodolf Vjerdha, was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a female passenger in Palo Alto. The victim told police the driver touched her leg and tried to kiss her.

VIDEO: More on the Uber driver's arrest

March 5, 2016

A San Francisco woman said she was punched in the face after getting into a ride-share vehicle by mistake. The woman said the driver then tried to get in the backseat with her. The woman says she kicked the man, fled the car and then reported the incident to police.

August 26, 2015

A woman said an Uber driver got verbally abusive with her during a ride in San Francisco.

VIDEO: More on the woman's terrifying experience

August 19, 2015

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon accused Uber of hiring rapists, kidnappers and killers. Gascon said he found 22 drivers with serious penalties working as drivers for the company. He blamed Uber for faulty background checks, but the company disagreed with the findings. Gascon urged the company to fingerprint drivers.

VIDEO: More on the district attorney's findings

December 2014

An Uber passenger claimed a driver, James Alva, hit him and called him a "dirty Mexican faggot". Uber initially delayed its response but then removed the driver from the platform.

September 25, 2014

An Uber driver is suspended after three women claim he harassed them during a ride in San Francisco

VIDEO: Hear the women recount their frightful experience

February 2014

Kalanick is widely criticized for making a sexist joke. The Uber CEO described his increased sexual desirability to women after the company's skyrocketing success. Kalanick described it as having women on demand and said, "We call that Boob-er".