Archive for : January, 2018

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Uber Drivers Have a Right to Record

Uber drivers do have a right to record each ride they offer, according to a report from US News. Passengers must be aware that whatever they do or say in the driver’s vehicle may be recorded. Drivers are allowed to use dashboard cameras to record activity inside and outside of their vehicles.

Uber drivers don’t want to infringe on their passengers’ privacy, but more drivers are installing cameras in an attempt to defend themselves against false claims.

Video evidence allows drivers to record unruly passengers and can also be given to insurance companies after an accident. The right to record passengers came to light after the company’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, was seen arguing with an Uber driver. The driver had a camera recording the incident, which went public and caused Kalanick to issue a public apology.

The trend of drivers installing cameras is gaining more traction, but there’s still a low chance that passengers will step into a vehicle where their actions are being recorded.

Uber and Lyft drivers have started to install dashboard cameras after false complaints are made to employers. Passengers often call Uber after a night out drinking, causing many of the drivers to deal with drunk passengers.

Drivers also use the cameras as deterrents, with many drivers stating that once they install cameras, they really don’t have a reason to use any of the footage.

Local laws may vary, so drivers that want to install dashboard cameras will be required to check with local authorities to ensure that they’re legally allowed to install cameras in their vehicles. Uber’s website explicitly states that drivers are allowed to install cameras for their own safety. Lyft has not divulged their stance on drivers using dashboard cameras.

“Documenting the incident is important. If you are injured, seeing a doctor first is most important. This not only ensures you get the proper treatment; it serves as documentation of your injuries as a result of the crash,” states personal injury attorney Matthew Sharp. Video evidence allows for visual evidence of what occurred in an accident or incident during a ride share.

Uber drivers also use dashboard cameras for safety reasons. The case of a Taco Bell executive, Benjamin Golden, is the prime example of why cameras are starting to be used by drivers. The ex-executive was sentenced to 60 days in jail after he assaulted the Uber driver.

The driver told Golden that he was kicking him out of the vehicle because he was too drunk to provide the driver with the proper directions.

Golden was seen going to leave the vehicle before lunging at the driver and repeatedly hitting him in the head. He was slamming the driver’s face into the steering wheel and was heard cursing at the driver.

Other incidents include passengers threatening to accuse the driver of rape.

Drivers continue to fight back against unruly passengers, often posting videos to YouTube and other social media channels. Drivers keep the footage of unruly passengers that make false complaints against the driver.

Recording sound may be illegal in some states and violate eavesdropping laws, which vary from state-to-state.

Uber, Background Checks and DUI/DWI Offenses

Uber drivers are held to a very high standard. When a passenger enters a driver’s vehicle, they have a right to be as safe as possible. A driver that has a long history of accidents and reckless driving may not be the best fit for Uber.

Uber’s DUI / DWI Rules

Uber’s rules and regulations are permitted to change from one state to another. But as a general rule of thumb, you’re not allowed to drive for the company if you’ve had a DUI/DWI in the past 10 years.

The company claims that there are no exceptions.

But in December, the company was fined for employing:

  • DUI convicts
  • Felons

The company had to pay $8.9 million in fines for their practices. There was a total of 57 disqualified drivers in Colorado driving for the company. These individuals often had revoked, cancelled or suspended licenses. Major moving violations and convictions were also cited.

“There are both civil and criminal proceedings in a DWI case, and there are different penalties associated with each. Most people do not realize this, which is why it is important to have an attorney by your side. Many first offenders may feel guilty. They will go ahead and plead guilty because they may feel that did something wrong. You should know, however, that there IS a way out,” states Keller Law Offices.

But these drivers were convicted.

A major fault occurred with the company’s private background check, which they claim is superior to anything available to the public.

Investigators found that the background check missed major convictions, driver aliases, and even one person that escaped from prison and was driving for the company.

Lyft was also investigated at the same time, with the company having no violations.

DUI Complaints Remain on the Backburner

Uber was additionally fined $750,000 in October 2018 after regulators found that the company was slow to respond to DUI complaints. The company was found to offer ineffective responses to DUI in California.

One driver had 151 complaints against them in a single year.

Uber didn’t suspend the driver or investigate the instances. There were other cases where a driver was suspended and the company still allowed them to accept rides. Uber blames this particular instance on a technical glitch.

Uber’s background check is supposed to check a person’s:

  • Federal records
  • County records
  • Motor vehicle records
  • Criminal past
  • Social Security trace
  • Sex offender status

Drivers can expect any DUI conviction to count against them at Uber and Lyft. Proper defense may be able to get you off on a DUI / DWI charge, meaning that either ridesharing company should not hold the offense against you.

A dismissed case or dropped charges may still be present on your record.

In the event that a case is dropped or dismissed, this will need to be explained to Uber. A lawyer may also be able to assist you if you’re currently a driver for Uber or you plan on being a driver and are in the middle of a DUI / DWI case.

Drivers for Uber, whether taking passengers or not, should also remain sober and drug-free, or risk losing their right to drive for ridesharing companies.

How Good Samaritans Stepped In and Helped Wildfire Victims in Need of Vehicles

The California wildfires not only took the lives of many citizens, but also left thousands homeless and in a tight bind. Research is also showing us that, aside from the devastating numbers of people and animals killed, and billions in damages to homes, businesses, and more, many other people were left without jobs to come home to. There are many reasons for this: from businesses burning to the ground, and due to cars being set ablaze as the fires streamed through cities, ruining people’s chance of transportation for the final time. During this difficult time, many Californians wondered how they would be able to manage after things took such an unfortunate turn, leaving their families with very little.

 

How Turo Lent a Helping Hand

 

A website known as Turo, formerly RelayRides, decided to lend a helping hand for those in need after the California fires. Turo is a company that offers peer-to-peer carsharing for those in need. That means that, if you currently don’t have a vehicle but you’re in need of one for an important event, you can rent a vehicle from another party at Turo, and experience sharing in an all new way. Private car owners enjoy lending a helping hand to others by renting out their vehicles on an online and mobile interface in San Francisco and beyond.

 

Turo invited many hosts to help LA fire victims by lending their vehicles to those in need after the fires had taken it all. Since last month, they made the announcement to enable hosts to rent out their vehicles free of charge to fire victims who unfortunately lost their vehicles but are in need of transportation during this difficult time. Turo personally waives the Turo trip fee for guests, though they still have to cover the cost of their protection package. Now this is a company that believes in helping those who have less than us.

 

The company keeps lenders safe by cross-checking zip codes of the areas that are under evacuation due to the Southern California fires. For those who are wanting to make a difference in a big way, this is a wonderful way to do it, as people in need struggle to get back on their feet in recent events and find it difficult to get from place to place with little choices in transportation.

 

The California fires have pushed many Californians into a terrible situation, left with very little or nothing depending on their unique circumstances and their location when the fires began. In fact, various news reports stated that the fires were expected to cause at least $1 billion in damages, with thousands of buildings burned to the ground. Seeing these numbers makes it obvious that many people were thrown from their homes to live with family, at shelters, and so much more. Being displaced can make it difficult for anybody to maintain employment, see loved ones in the hospital, and so many other things we do in our daily lives.

Use Only The Best in Cloud Mining

For cloud mining Bitcoin, Ethereum, and many other crypto coins with Bet Capital, cloud mining services make it possible for individuals to take part in the mining process profitably without worrying about the mining hardware, power, electricity and cooling requirements. While there are plenty of cloud mining services out there, Bet Capital stands apart from the rest in terms of cost, reliability and operational history.

Bet Capital offers the best value Ethereum cloud mining contracts on the market, while allowing you to connect to the mining pool of your choice, which shows that you are purchasing real mining power on Bet Capital. Here’s what you need to know to have full confidence in, and take full advantage of, Bet Capital’s expertise, experience, and dedication.

With its solid company background and reputation, real proof of mining, and the best value Ethereum cloud mining, Bet Capital is currently the number one pick for Ethereum cloud mining of all cloud mining services.

Bet Capital is a cryptocurrency cloud mining service offered by a team of experts in the industry. The people behind the platform have years of experience in mining cryptocurrencies and developing the hardware necessary for it. Bet Capital is a service that is being taken seriously by some of the biggest investors on Wall Street..

They have been designing, developing and selling SHA-256 and GPU miners for over three years. Bet Capital utilizes their expertise to offer low-priced cloud mining contracts for Ethereum, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Some of Bet Capital’s cloud mining contracts like Ethereum are the best value in the market today. In addition to its existing reputation, Bet Capital values transparency of its operations. Details about the company’s data centers and their features are made available on its website. It takes transparency to the next level by allowing its customers to connect to the pools of their choice. In addition, all users are provided access to real-time mining data on their respective dashboards. The platform doesn’t have any hidden fees or commissions included in its pricing structure.

Bet Capital takes the platform’s security seriously. The website makes use of COMODO SSL Certificate, and all user accounts come with an option to activate two-factor authentication. The platform urges its users to enable the 2FA option without fail to ensure the additional safety of their funds and any private information associated with the account.

As an established cloud mining service provider, Bet Capital ensures that all  customer queries are answered on time. The platform has most of the issues covered on its FAQs page, and it has included Zendesk integration on the website for direct interaction with the customer support team. Tickets raised are reviewed and resolved quickly by the platform — usually with a turn around time of less than one day.

Both payouts and payments are hassle-free with Bet Capital. Customers can make use of the instant withdrawal feature to withdraw their payouts. Users on 2 year contracts receive their payouts in Bitcoin whereas those opting for cryptocurrency specific packages — Ethereum for instance – will be paid in their respective cryptocurrencies. There are no specific minimum or maximum withdrawal limits, but the amount of each withdrawal should be more than the requisite miner/transaction fee (to be paid to the blockchain).

5 Bank Tech Trends That Will Affect The Industry In 2017

Right now, the majority of investing professionals are advising that people who are interested in investing wait until the start of the New Year before they make any moves. After all, unless and until lawmakers reach a deal over the nation’s potential financial meltdown, the consumer trends are going to be difficult to predict. The deadline on the Bush era tax cuts is December 31, 2017, and President Obama’s healthcare bill tax hikes will go into effect at the first of January. But, there is still enough time for booth parties to reach an agreement that could alter the circumstances, so it is best to hold onto your money at the present time. So, if you are hoping to invest, just sit back for a while and wait to see what happens.

In the meantime, we can sit around and speculate, which is basically what politics is all about anyway. How are the markets going to do next year? What will growth look like? What are some trends that are going to affect the various industries, like, say, Unsecured personal loans the banking technology industry? Let’s take a look:

  1. Online Banking. More and more Americans are discovering how much better Internet checking is than the old-fashioned way. In this fast-paced world we live in, where everyone is divvying up their focus between their iPads and their smartphones, no one wants to be bothered with having to make trips down to their bank to deposit checks and withdraw their funds. Many individual’s are turning to internet checking and online accounts, which are much more convenient.
  2. Banking Fees. Another reason that people are turning to online banking is the significantly reduced amount of fees that they are accompanied by. However, most banks are hoping to cash in on this new online banking trend, and are already thinking up new ways to pry their loyal customers’ hard-earned cash from their fingers.
  3. Social Media. Most banks are already utilizing the benefits offered by social media outlets, and it is projected that they will expand on this trend well into the next year. Big financial institutions like Chase and Bank of America already offer their customers support services via their twitter page. Customers do like to be able to get the help they need, and social media is a great tool for banks in this regard.
  4. Mobile Apps. With the increase in online banking will come the demand for more mobile banking apps for iPhone. Small business owners rely upon most of these apps to make their companies function more easily, and most banks are hoping to cash in here, as well, by charging for many of these additional services in 2017.
  5. Rewards Programs. The best way to draw in customers is to make them a special offer. For banks, this can be achieved by offering account holders rewards programs. Financial institutions will be likely to increase their customer base if they are willing to increase the benefits they offer to their customers.

Teen Driving: Four Apps to Keep Your New Driver Safe

Driving is a big milestone in the life of every teenager as it is considered a rite of passage to adulthood. Sadly, it is often seen that kids end up being irresponsible or misusing their new-found freedom. Sometimes they need a little push or a wee bit of control which can help them evolve into responsible drivers. Here are a few apps which will help you ensure the safety of your teenage driver.

True Motion Family

True Motion Family, which was formerly known as Canary, is an extremely useful app which allows you to monitor your kid’s driving habits. The parent gets a notification if the child uses his or her phone while driving. Moreover, the parent can set boundaries such as the perimeter up to which the child is allowed to drive, speed limit as well as time by which your child should be home at night. Any time he or she is behind the wheels and brakes any of the set curfews, you will be immediately notified. Thus, you can take a virtual ride without even being present physically. It is available in both Google Play Store and Apple Store, making it compatible with almost every device.

Drive Alive

If your teen is someone who responds better to rewards than to punishment, this is the right app for you. Installed on your kid’s phone, this app rewards him or her for driving without using the phone. All that one has to do is to log in at the beginning of the ride and drive on without touching the phone while the app collects credits. At the end of the trip, the app has to be updated and the credits or points can be redeemed for prizes, discounts or even cash. While the app does not block any of the features of the phone, it offers the right incentive to not use the phone while driving.

Drive Smart

Majority of accidents, especially with new drivers are caused due to the driver being distracted behind the wheels. A phone can be a major cause of distraction and the Drive Smart app can help you out. This is a nifty app which prevents your kid from being distracted by phone calls and messages by diverting incoming calls directly to the voicemail and muting message notifications. It sends an automatic response to text messages, ensuring that all kinds of notifications stay away while driving. The app automatically detects when it’s in a car and launches itself. It also notifies the parents if it is deliberately disabled by the driver. If your kid prefers carrot over stick, it also rewards good driving behavior.

Cell control

While technology can be severely distracting an influence, it is technology which comes to the rescue as well. If your teenager is the rebellious one who refuses to play by the rules, Cell control is what you absolutely need. This enforces restriction on an kind of mobile activity that you choose to control, including calling, reading messages and texting, all kinds of social media activity, even taking a selfie! This ensures that your kid can drive without letting any distractions come in the way.

 

It is important to give your kids freedom, but when it comes down to the roads, it is better to be safe than sorry. Ensure a heart to heart discussion about ad safety and the rules that are expected of him or her. You might appear controlling right now but once your kid is in American University Rankings 美国大学排名 college, and away from home, your strictness will be appreciated.

Can Uber Drivers Sue for Wrongful Termination?

Uber drivers operate as contractors for the company. Being a contractor gives drivers more freedom, but it also waives some protections that traditional employees receive. If Uber says your account is deactivated, you may not have much in the way of legal recourse.

Can you sue Uber for wrongful termination? That depends on your contract, but the chances are slim that you have a case.

“Savvy human resources officers make sure that all employees understand that they work as employees at will — in other words, either party to the contract is free to terminate it for any reason or no reason,” explains law firm Schaefer Halleen.

While there are exceptions for employees, the rules are a little different for independent contractors. In this case, Uber can decide it no longer wants to use a driver’s services for just about any reason at all.

In 2014, Uber came under fire for its sketchy firing policies. One ex-driver sued the company for unlawful termination. The former employee alleged that the company “fired” him for findings in his credit report. The ex-driver, Abdul Mohamed, filed the suit in a San Francisco court, claiming the company violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The lawsuit states that Abdul was not given any warning or notice about the decision, which would have given him an opportunity to respond to the allegations.

Unfortunately, Abdul had signed an arbitration agreement. In 2016, the Ninth Circuit Appeals Court ruled that the question of unlawful termination should be delegated to arbitration.

The court’s decision may mean that all drivers must deal with Uber individually and cannot bring a class action suit against the company over its background check system.

Uber’s shady firing policies have been criticized by the media on several occasions, and this case is not the first to make headlines.

One Uber driver from Boston, Richard Boese, was fired after hosting an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. Boese discussed the good and bad aspects of driving for the company, but Boston.com wrote an article on the AMA, stating that he “ripped” the rideshare service.

Two weeks later, Boese was fired. Uber refused to answer his emails asking why, and the company would not discuss the issue with the media.

Uber has been hit with several lawsuits alleging that Uber drivers aren’t actually independent contractors, but actual employees who should be awarded labor protections. Such protections would give drivers the right to unionize and collectively bargain.

“The ability to fire at will is an important factor in showing a company’s workers are employees, not independent contractors,” says attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, who is leading a class-action suit against Uber.

The company has paid out millions of dollars in order to settle these lawsuits and ensure that drivers remain independent contractors. The question of employee status has not yet been settled in court, and more suits will likely arise in the future as the “gig” economy continues to expand.

It’s still unclear what Uber’s firing policies would have to look like in order to have drivers be considered independent contractors. As of right now, drivers can be terminated for criticizing the company on social media without facing legal hurdles.

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5 Apps Every Uber Driver Should Have

Driving for Uber is like having a business on wheels. Just like any other business owner, you do everything you can to maximize your profit, provide good service and minimize your expenses. These five apps can help you reach these goals and take your Uber business to the next level.

1. Google Maps

You may know a town like the back of your hand, but are you sure you know the fastest route to get from point A to point B? What if a passenger wants you to drive somewhere you’ve never been. That’s where Google Maps comes in.

Forget using an old-school navigation device. Google Maps works with your smartphone to get you where you need to go as quickly as possible.

The great thing about Maps is that Uber drivers can use it for more than just navigation. You can also use it to find potential hotspots for passengers. Just type in “bar” or “airport,” and Maps will find them for you.

This feature also comes in handy when passengers tell you the name of a restaurant instead of the address of the establishment. With a few taps, Maps will help you find your destination and the quickest route there.

Google Maps is available on both Android and iOS devices.

2. Stride Drive

Need an accurate way to track your mileage? Stride Drive is a free app that keeps track of every mile you drive.  

The app – available on both Android and iOS – automatically detects when you’re driving, so you can log every mile.

If you’re looking for apps that offer extra features, MileIQ and Triplog are two great paid options.

3. QuickBooks Self-Employed

Taxes are a little more complicated as an Uber driver, and there are deductions you can take to reduce your tax burden.

The QuickBooks Self-Employed app connects with your bank account, so you can quickly and easily categorize your Uber expenses and income. Along with expenses, you can track mileage using the app, take photos of receipts and even make notes for tax season.

The QuickBooks Self-Employed app has a subscription fee, but is worth the cost to make tax preparation less stressful.

4. Gas Buddy

Now that you’re making more trips to the pump, you care more about how much you’re spending when you fill up your tank. Gas will be your biggest expense as an Uber driver, so saving a few cents here and there will add up over time.

The Gas Buddy app will help you find the best gas prices in your area. With a few taps, you can compare results by location and filter by fuel type.

5. Uber Passenger App

If you live in a busy area, you may have a lot of competition from other Uber drivers. The Uber Passenger App lets you see up to eight other drivers in your area, so you can stay away from oversaturated spots.

On the other hand, you can also use these busy areas to your advantage by choosing to stay on the opposite side of where other drivers are waiting. This way, you can get more requests from that direction.