After a photo of two adjacent bathroom doors labelled 'partner' and 'employee' in an Uber office in the US irked the netizens, Uber had to apologize. The labels inferred that the toilets were separated for top officials i.e. partners and the drivers i.e. drivers. Uber driver Erika Betts was the first one to tweet the photograph from Uber's Greenlight Hub office in Providence, Rhode Island where she found the segregation. Betts wrote that it was strange that the company did not differentiate toilets on the basis of gender but stature in the company. Here is the original post.
The @Uber hub in my market has designated bathrooms. Not for male/female, but for partner & employee.— Erika Betts (@ErikaABetts) December 4, 2019
Anyone else think it's strange that Uber views partners & employees as two separate classes of people? pic.twitter.com/3SGeKSae3g
Erika's post immediately caught the attention of netizens who severely criticized it. Many started calling it a blatant example of classist discrimination. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was amongst the top personalities to slam Uber for the separate bathrooms. She mocked Uber with reference to Google assistant, Siri. There were several others who joined the brigade of criticisms. Take a look.
Siri, show me what classism looks like: https://t.co/vUM7Fe7tJz— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 5, 2019
This is the kind of society I don't want to live in.https://t.co/N2wHYkBlcm— Noah Smith 🐇 (@Noahpinion) December 5, 2019
I’ve never regretted dumping Uber. However, if anyone thinks any of the other sharecropping-economy companies are different, you’re delusional. Stop using these companies.— melomys (@melomys) December 5, 2019
Uber has had a history of its alleged mistreatment of employees. Many drivers had previously raised concerns about their rights. The company even lost a court case in the United Kingdom when it attempted to forbid drivers from categorizing themselves as "workers" which entitles them to certain workers' rights like minimum wage and working hours in 2018. Following the outrage, Uber responded to the controversy stating the practice was against the company's policies.
Hi Erika - I looked into this. This is not our policy and it's absolutely unacceptable. The signs are coming down today.— Andrew Macdonald (@andrewgordonmac) December 4, 2019