06/28/2023: Fired by an App: Rideshare Drivers' Experience with Discrimination, Harassment, and Unfair Termination

Fired by an App: Rideshare Drivers' Experience with Discrimination, Harassment, & Unfair Termination

About the webinar:

What rights do you have when your boss is an algorithm? In the era of app-based work, workers are subjected to surveillance, control, and even termination by systems that can be discriminatory and hard to challenge. “Fired by an App” is a joint report by Rideshare Drivers United and Asian Law Caucus based on their survey of over 800 Uber and Lyft drivers in California about their experiences with deactivation and the ways in which unchecked customer discrimination, bias, and retaliation impact drivers’ pay, benefits, working conditions and ability to work. Join us to hear from impacted drivers and the report’s authors on the report’s findings and recommendations.

Click here to read the report: Fired by An App: The Toll of Secret Algorithms and Unchecked Discrimination on California Rideshare Drivers

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this activity, the learner will be able to:

  • Describe common hazards and injustices faced by app based drivers and their impact on workers
  • Identify ways discrimination and bias affect drivers and how company algorithms capture and magnify these issues
  • Discuss key steps rideshare companies and policymakers can take to protect workers

Speaker: Nicole Moore

Nicole is a part-time driver who became a founding member of Rideshare Drivers United in 2018, helping to organize RDU's first organizing committee meeting. Rideshare Drivers United has become a powerful, driver-led organization of 20,000 California-based app-drivers, taking action to improve the lives of drivers and expose the reality of app-workers around the globe. RDU's second strike in 2019 spread globally, with app-drivers in six continents participating only days in advance of Uber's public offering. More than 5000 members of RDU filed wage claims with the state of California in 2020, claiming lost wages, expenses, and damages of over $1.3 billion dollars. Those wage theft claims were based on drivers being fully covered by employee rights in California at that time and showed how billion-dollar companies use misclassification to impoverish workers while enriching themselves. This is why RDU joins hundreds of thousands who are still fighting tirelessly for full labor fights over second-class rights for all app workers, while demanding regulation to make all app professions fairly paid and safe. Nicole lives in Los Angeles and works in healthcare when she’s not driving, organizing, or hanging out with family. 

Speaker: Tyler Sandness

Tyler Sandness is the Statewide Coordinator for Rideshare Drivers United. Starting as a driver with lyft in 2018, he quickly experienced the abuses that drivers are subjected to and sought out other drivers who were tired of the poor treatment, joining Rideshare Drivers United later that year. After helping to organize the first successful string of RDU actions in the spring of 2019, culminating in the international strike at LAX on May 8th, he was hired on by RDU as part of their first team of driver organizers, taken off the road to help grow RDU and driver power. Since then, Tyler has taken a leadership role within RDU, becoming one of the original members for RDU's board of directors, and coordinator on partnered projects with allied organizations.

Speaker: Winnie Kao

Winifred (Winnie) Kao is Senior Counsel for Impact Litigation at ALC. She also leads ALC’s Workers’ Rights Program. She served as ALC’s Litigation Director from 2011 – 2020 during which time she helped provide direction and support on ALC’s impact litigation across program areas. Prior to coming to ALC, Winnie worked at a union-side labor and employment law firm where she primarily represented hotel, restaurant and food and commercial workers and unions in a wide variety of labor, employment, constitutional, and class-action cases. Winnie was previously a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division where she litigated housing and public accommodation discrimination cases. She also served on detail as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, DC, and was an extern for the Honorable Gladys Kessler in the US District Court for the District of Columbia. Winnie has worked as a community organizer for labor and civil rights groups. She is a graduate of Yale College and the University of Michigan Law School where she was a member of the Michigan Law Review.

She has won commendations and awards for her work from numerous organizations including the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the University of Michigan Law School.


Alejandra Domenzain is a Program Coordinator at the Labor Occupational Health Program at the University of California, Berkeley. There, she develops projects to improve the working conditions of immigrant, low-wage workers in a variety of high-hazard industries through education and leadership development of workers, capacity building of organizations, policy advocacy, and community-based research. She has worked with the National Council of La Raza, the UCLA Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program, the Garment Worker Center, and Sweatshop Watch. Alejandra has also been a public school teacher and is the author of For All/ Para Todos, a bilingual children’s book about immigrant and worker rights. She has a MA in Urban Planning and in Latin American Studies from UCLA and a Bachelor’s in Science of Foreign Service from Georgetown University.


The Center for Occupational and Environmental Health designates this activity for a maximum of 1.0 Contact Hour. Participants should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation.

Certificates of Completion

Certificates of Completion will be available to webinar participants who are present for the complete, live webinar, and logged in with their registered email address. Call-in attendees are not eligible for certificates at this time - Please download the Zoom app to log in via email on your smartphone whenever possible.

In order to receive your Certificate of Completion, qualified learners must complete the post-webinar evaluation within 7 days of the webinar. A link to the evaluation will be emailed to qualified learners 24 hours after the webinar via no-reply@zoom.us. Qualified learners who submit their evaluation will receive a Certificate of Completion via email, and can also print/save the certificate from their browser after submitting their evaluation.

If you're not able to attend the live presentation, no problem! We record most presentations and will host them on our website provided we have permission to do so. Presentation recordings are not eligible for Certificates of Completion.

California Labor Lab Logo

About the CA Labor Lab:

The California Labor Lab is a collaboration among investigators at UCSF, UC Berkeley, and the California Department of Public Health. The Lab is housed at the Philip R Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at UCSF. Our mission is to extend the pursuit of health and safety for workers in traditional employment to those in a wide range of alternative arrangements in partnership with affected communities.

Click here to learn more about the Labor Lab.


If you require an accommodation for effective communication (ASL interpreting/CART captioning, alternative media formats, etc.) to fully participate in this event, please contact Michelle Meyer at (510) 642-8365 or mmeyer@berkeley.edu(link sends e-mail) with as much advance notice as possible and at least 7-10 days in advance of the event.