An Uber driver in New York City recently arrived to pick up a woman who was in labor, along with her husband and birthing coach. However, once the driver saw the woman vomit on the sidewalk, he refused to allow them in his vehicle, claiming if she vomited he would lose $1,000 in wages. He went on to declare that, “no other driver would accept a woman in labor as a passenger,” and left them on the sidewalk. He then had the audacity to charge them $13 for the conversation.
Not only is this an affront to basic human decency, but according to New York law, car services cannot deny a ride to a woman in labor if she needs to go to the hospital.
Fortunately, as Fortune reports, the next Uber driver agreed to take the couple to the hospital, and Uber did refund the $13. Uber also stated that the original driver’s behavior does not mesh with the company’s values. In a statement to Slate, Uber spokesperson Matthew Wing said that, “Denying service to a passenger in labor is unacceptable: it goes against our code of conduct and the standard of service our riders rely on. We extend our deepest apologies to both riders and have taken action to respond to this complaint.”
However, David Lee, the husband, did not take this apology so readily. He told Fortune that, “I don’t blame Uber for one driver’s poor actions, since bad apples can appear in any organization, but I do think that when a company has a culture of bullying their way past laws and regulations, as Uber seems to do, they begin to think they can act with impunity in anything.”
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