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An Uber Eats driver claimed he collected data showing that the company has been consistently underpaying drivers, Salon reported Thursday.
The driver, who is also a computer programmer, built a tool for drivers to track their trips and determine if the company was paying them fairly, and found that Uber wasn't paying them for an average of 2.5 miles driven on 25-30% of trips, according to Salon.
Despite a surge in demand for food delivery during the pandemic, workers have seen their pay decline as out-of-work Americans flood the platforms, forcing earnings to be split between more of them.
Even before the pandemic, many ride-hail and delivery drivers reported earning less than minimum wage, and regulators have started cracking down, casting doubt on the sustainability of the gig economy business model.
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A programmer and Uber Eats driver built a tool that he claimed provides evidence that the food delivery service has consistently been underpaying drivers, Salon reported on Thursday.
Armin Samii, a computer scientist who has been working part-time for Uber Eats since losing his job during the pandemic, built a Chrome browser extension called "UberCheats" that helps drivers track their trips and pay, and said the initial data showed Uber shorting drivers on 25-30% of trips, according to Salon.
Uber Eats drivers, like most food delivery workers, are paid in part on a per-mile basis, and Samii told Salon that his tool found that, on average, Uber was not paying drivers for 2 1/2 miles per delivery — that is, paying them for a one-mile trip when in reality they drove 3.5 miles.
Samii told Salon that after multiple back-and-forths with Uber customer service, they admitted it was a bug and paid him the actual wage he was owed, but that based on data he collected via his browser tool: "this is pretty widespread and pretty egregious. And I don't think Uber has any plans to fix it."
Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Food delivery, grocery delivery, and ride-hail apps are notorious for using opaque and constantly evolving algorithms to determine drivers' pay, leading many drivers to claim that they're making below minimum wage and are heavily dependent on tips — even before the pandemic hit.
This also isn't the first time drivers have complained about Uber Eats' pay structure. Last fall, Uber introduced a change that drivers said resulted in a pay reduction by goading them into taking less profitable trips.
During the pandemic, some drivers say their wages have been compressed even further. As millions of out-of-work Americans turn to food delivery and grocery apps (Uber said its food delivery business outpaced ride-hailing for the first time and Instacart said it brought on 750,000 new shoppers), the pie is being split among more people. At the same time, drivers are braving significant health risks as essential workers without access to healthcare, sick pay, or paid time off.
That stems from drivers' status as independent contractors instead of employees, which is the topic of a major legal and political battle between Uber, Lyft, several food delivery companies and state regulators. A court ruled last week that Uber and Lyft drivers are employees under the state's gig work law, AB-5, but temporarily delayed the order Thursday while companies appeal the ruling, after both threatened to suspend service in the state.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: July 15 is Tax Day — here's what it's like to do your own taxes for the very first time
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The transition to the cloud continues to be a major focus for chief information officers — and there's good reason for that.
Among other advantages, cloud adoption can be significant cost-saver and play a key role in spurring innovation. My colleague Dan DeFrancesco got an inside peek into Equifax's cloud journey that illuminates both those benefits and more.
After its 2017 security breach that resulted in a $575 million settlement with the federal government, Equifax pledged to undergo a $1.25 billion tech overhaul. And a key aspect of that is the move to the public cloud.
Now, just two years into its journey to adopt Google Cloud, the company has already decommissioned 10 physical data centers and is cutting costs by as much as $240 million.
It's also accelerating IT projects. Prior to the overhaul, Equifax averaged 90 new products each year. Now, that is expected to increase to over 100, according to chief technology officer Bryson Koehler.
On top of all the benefits the firm experienced, there's also a larger message in Equifax's transformation.
Many companies — particularly those, like financial organizations, with sensitive information — are still hesitant to store all their data on public cloud providers. Given that Equifax underwent one of the most public data breaches in history, the decision to migrate to Google Cloud could signify to others that the security of the platform is robust, DeFrancesco reported.
Below are a few other stories that you may have missed from the last two weeks.
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How 100-year-old Dawn Foods went through a digital overhaul in 18 months to build one of the baking industry's first e-commerce sites
How digital consulting giant Publicis Sapient poached employees from Netflix, Deloitte, and the Wall Street Journal to launch a video service for executives it calls 'the Quibi of business' — in just 22 days
Real estate giant CBRE has an 'unparalleled' amount of data. Its tech chief lays out how it's putting it to good use.
Blue Shield of California and startup Cricket Health are teaming up to use AI to help patients with kidney disease — including the 'nine out of 10' people who aren't aware they have it
The CEO of $535 million AI startup Standard explains how its new deal to power cashierless checkout at Circle K convenience stores shows how it's possible for retailers to take on Amazon Go
Amazon is giving free AWS training courses to Utah's elementary and high schools — but education specialists say this kind of skills training may not help you get a tech job or even help you learn
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