FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 23, 2021
CONTACT: Mark McCormick, Director of Strategic Communications, 913-490-4113, [email protected]
OVERLAND PARK, KS --- Hours after the ACLU of Kansas warned UberEats, one of the nation’s premiere food delivery services, to resolve a potentially dangerous problem with its app, the company publicly apologized, appropriately updated our trans client’s app identity, and shared several of its remedial corporate initiatives.
“We sincerely apologize for the difficulties Mr. (Laine) Repic faced as he tried to make changes within the Uber app,” a letter the ACLU of Kansas received from the company Tuesday read.” I can confirm that the requested changes were completed this morning and our team has reached out to Mr. Repic to inform him and apologize.”
The letter went on to say that Uber believes everyone has the right to show up on its platform as their true selves and that the corporation remained committed to supporting the LGBTQIA+ community in creating a “safe, inclusive experience for everyone using their products.
The corporation also had made more improvements to support transgender and non-binary drivers and delivery people on its platform that include:
- Working to make improvements to the transgender user experience for several months and, as of last week, requests for photo and name changes can be submitted via this link and will be handled by a specialized Driver Inclusion team;
- Making it easier for trans and non-binary drivers and delivery people to update their name and photo in the Uber app so that it reflects their true identity;
- Announcing changes to enable trans and non-binary drivers and delivery people to display only their self-identified chosen first name, without requiring the display of their legal name.Working with the NCTE (National Center for Transgender Equality) to develop training sessions that will be deployed to all driver agents to better identify and assist drivers that self-report as transgender.
Beyond these changes, the corporation announced a $60,000-partnership with NCTE to fund $60,000 to help cover the costs associated with updating their name and gender on state and federal IDs and records. The fund is set to go live this month and anyone can access it regardless of whether they are associated with the Uber platform.
The civil liberties organization sent a June 21 letter on behalf of Mr. Repic, a transgender man from Topeka who’d repeatedly tried updating his driver profile through the company app so that it would show his correct name and pronouns.
“Instead,” the ACLU’s letter to UberEats said, “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 ACLU said Repic already had faced some of the consequences of this technological issue which effectively outted 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.”
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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.