Uber needs to get the heck out of California and pay a $7.3-million fine, says a judge; their license to operate in the state would be suspended in 30 days except that Uber has promised to appeal. In 2013, the California Public Utilities Commission passed new rules allowing fake cab companies ("ridesharing services") like Uber and Lyft to operate without having to follow the strict set of rules that real cab companies follow—they were given their own, less strict set to follow. But Uber apparently couldn't even manage that, according to the LA Times: the CPUC says "Uber has not complied with state laws designed to ensure that drivers are doling out rides fairly to all passengers, regardless of where they live or who they are." Uber has also refused to provide data on the matter. A CPUC spokesperson says "They had a year to comply with these regulations, and didn't do it."
Uber now has 30 days to appeal, which a rep says it will do. Then the judge will review the case and can modify her decision. After that, the CPUC will vote on the matter. If Uber's still in trouble at the end of all that, the ban will take effect. Uber can make it all go away, though, by just fully complying. They might wanna do that, because getting kicked off their home turf (they're based in San Francisco) is a pretty bad look.
The company is already banned in many places around the world for various shady business practices from poor driver vetting to worker exploitation. Last month, the California Labor Commissioner's office ruled that Uber drivers must be classified as actual employees—and entitled to all the protections of benefits of that status—rather than "contractors" as Uber has always claimed in order to keep its costs low.
· Uber should be suspended in California and fined $7.3 million, judge says [LAT]
· CA Becomes First State to Allow Anyone to Use Cars as Cabs [Curbed LA]
· 8 Secrets You Learn Being an Uber Driver in Los Angeles [Curbed LA]
· Why Los Angeles Uber Drivers Say It Sucks to Be Them [Curbed LA]