Uberâ€™s gotta payâ€”with interest.
The infamous ride-sharing app admitted Tuesday that it had been underpaying its New York drivers since November 2014 due to an accounting error that took out more than the companyâ€™s 25 percent commission, the Wall Street Journal firstÂ reported.
Uber typically takes its commission after taxes and fees are deducted from a driverâ€™s fare, but the accounting glitch that took it out beforehand resulted in a larger pay deduction for drivers. Uberâ€™s terms of service did not specify that it took commissions out of gross fare earnings.
To make things right, Uber is repaying an average of $900 per driver with interest, which is estimated to cost a total of at least $45 million. One driver is receiving a $7,000 payout, RecodeÂ reported.
â€śWe made a mistake and we are committed to making it right by paying every driver every penny they are owed, plus interest, as quickly as possible,â€ť Uberâ€™s regional manager in the U.S. and Canada, Rachel Holt, said in a statement. â€śWe are working hard to regain driver trust, and that means being transparent, sticking to our word, and making the Uber experience better from end to end.â€ť
Uber has had a rough year with multiple public relations disasters spanning aÂ consumer and driver backlashÂ for the companyâ€™s tepid response to the Trump administrationâ€™s immigration ban and aÂ sprawlingÂ sexual harassmentÂ scandal. But the companyâ€™s issues with drivers over pay have also persisted.
In January, UberÂ settled a lawsuitÂ that claimed the company misled drivers regarding earning potential and conditions of the companyâ€™sÂ auto financing program. DriversÂ protestedÂ against poor pay throughout 2016, demanding higher pay.
Through it all, Uber has fought drivers on grantingÂ employee statusÂ and benefits,Â fair pay, andÂ unionization. But despite the influx of lawsuits, it appears that drivers are going to keep fighting the company on issues.
Following news of Uberâ€™s repayment of New York drivers, the Independent Drivers Guild, which represents more than 50,000 app drivers, called for a widespread investigation into the companyâ€™s payment practices.
â€śDrivers have been complaining about this and other shady accounting tactics to no avail,â€ť said IDGâ€™s executive director Ryan Price in a statement. â€śDrivers are relieved to be paid the money they are owed plus interest and we hope other companies follow suit.â€ť
â€śWe also call for regulators to launch an immediate investigation into ride hail applications fare and payment practices in our city.â€ť
This article was originally published atÂ ThinkProgress.org on May 24, 2017. Reprinted with permission.
About the Author:Â Â Lauren C. WilliamsÂ is the tech reporter for ThinkProgress with an affinity for consumer privacy, cybersecurity, tech culture and the intersection of civil liberties and tech policy. Before joining the ThinkProgress team, she wrote about health care policy and regulation for B2B publications, and had a brief stint at The Seattle Times. Lauren is a native Washingtonian and holds a masterâ€™s in journalism from the University of Maryland and a bachelorâ€™s of science in dietetics from the University of Delaware.