FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 22, 2021
CONTACT: Mark McCormick, Director of Strategic Communications, 913-490-4113, [email protected]
OVERLAND PARK, KS --- The ACLU of Kansas has warned UberEats, one of the nation’s premiere food delivery services, to resolve a potentially dangerous problem with its app.
The civil liberties organization sent the June 21 letter on behalf of Mr. Laine Repic, a transgender man from Topeka who repeatedly has tried to update his driver profile through the company app so that it would show his correct name and pronouns.
“Instead, your company has forced Mr. Repic to have his driver profile display his legal name, which he no longer uses and which does not match his gender presentation,” the letter said.
The ACLU said Repic already has faced some of the consequences of this technological issue which effectively outs him as transgender to his customers.
“Mr. Repic has experienced harassment and ridicule as a result: he has made deliveries where he has endured demeaning comments and felt fearful for his safety because his displayed name does not match his male gender or presentation,” the letter said. “Mr. Repic believes that UberEats’ outing of his transgender status has led to decreased tips and ride opportunities, which are essential to him making money in this role. UberEats’ name display policy unnecessarily places drivers at risk.”
The ACLU of Kansas can think of no significant justification for forcing drivers such as Mr. Repic – or others working for the national corporation – to deliver under their “dead” or birth names, the letter said. There is no conceivable risk to UberEats customers if Mr. Repic and other transgender drivers drove under their correct names and gender markers.
“However, the risk to Mr. Repic is great if Uber does not correct this policy immediately.”
Obtaining a legal name change can be a long, difficult, and expensive process, the ACLU of Kansas said in the letter. Roughly 68% of transgender people in the United States report that none of their identification documents list their correct name and pronouns.
In Kansas, clerks in some courts have resisted allowing individuals to submit their own legal name change paperwork, even though there is no requirement in state law that those petitioning for name changes be represented by counsel.
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About the ACLU of Kansas: The ACLU of Kansas is the statewide affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU of Kansas is dedicated to preserving and advancing the civil rights and legal freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. For more information, visit our website at www.aclukansas.org.