Uber owes its drivers in New York City tens of millions of dollars after shortchanging them due to “miscalculated payments,” according to a new report by the Wall Street Journal. This marks the second time in the last three months that Uber has admitted to underpaying its drivers.
The error apparently came about because the ride-sharing giant was taking its 25 percent cut of fares based on their total cost — including taxes and fees. According to Uber’s terms of service with its drivers, the company is supposed to take its share after taxes and fees. This, ultimately, left drivers shortchanged by a collective amount estimated to be at least $45 million, according to Bloomberg.
The company apparently found the error when it began to implement more detailed receipts for drivers. In a statement, the company said it would repay the drivers what they were owed — an amount that will roughly translate to about $900 per person. According to the Independent Drivers Guild, there are about 50,000 drivers who work for Uber in New York City. “We are committed to paying every driver every penny they are owed — plus interest — as quickly as possible,” said Rachel Holt, the company’s head of U.S. operations. “We 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.”
The error echoes a previous refund Uber had to shell out to drivers in Philadelphia earlier this year. That miscalculation was apparently due to a mistake that the company made when it routinely updated its terms of service. All in all, the company had to refund an overall smaller amount in that city than they will in NYC, according to Gizmodo. Additionally, in January, the San Francisco-based company paid $20 million in an FTC settlement, admitting that it had recruited drivers with exaggerated claims of how much they could earn.