Uber says it's 'exploring' paying drivers who 'have been quarantined or diagnosed with coronavirus' (UBER)


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  • Uber says it is considering paying drivers who have been quarantined or diagnosed with coronavirus, though it doesn’t have specific plans as of yet.
  • Their statement comes in response to a concerned senator’s letter requesting that the company do more to support its workers: ‘I have concerns it does not address some broader challenges that workers could face,’ Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) wrote in his letter to Uber leadership.
  • Gig workers for food delivery and ride-hailing apps, whose on-demand jobs don’t provide insurance or other benefits, are bracing for the spread of coronavirus.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Uber is considering paying its drivers who have been quarantined for diagnosed with COVID-19, the coronavirus disease, although it has not yet pinned down how they would be paid. 

In a statement, the company says that its “global team” tasked with handling its response to the outbreak is “exploring compensation for drivers who have been quarantined or diagnosed with coronavirus, whether independently, through a fund, or in partnership with peer companies.”

Business Insider has previously spoken with drivers and delivery workers for Uber, who told reporters Aaron Holmes and Mary Meisenzahl that their constant contact with dozens of strangers, and a lack of of health insurance and benefits, had rendered them extremely anxious about how the outbreak of coronavirus would impact them. 

The statement comes largely in response to a letter from a concerned Virginia Senator Mark Warner, who asked that the company consider taking steps to better protect its gig workers as the coronavirus outbreak spreads across the US.

In a letter addressed to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Warner wrote that Uber’s current steps to support its drivers — who, as contractors, don’t enjoy a regular salary or benefits from the company — was lacking in addressing issues beyond hygiene and disease containment. 

“While this is prudent and good advice, I have concerns it does not address some broader challenges that workers could face,” Warner said, and went on to recommend measures to support drivers through any financial hardships that they face during this time. 

“I strongly urge that you attempt to address the potential financial hardship for your workers if they are sick or have to self-quarantine during this time,” Warner wrote.

As of Friday, the coronavirus has spread to at least 93 other countries. More than 360 deaths have been reported outside mainland China, including 14 in the US. 

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