On Thursday, the San Diego City Attorney’s office along with other municipal prosecutors have called Uber to release details of its verification protocols after deeming the documentation of some transgender and nonbinary people as fraudulent, barring them from being drivers or food deliverers. 

A letter was written by San Diego City Attorney Mara W. Elliott partnered with Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer and San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu to Uber's general counsel, head of global public policy, and director of public affairs.

The letter cites a Dec.10 Los Angeles Times article that reported Uber at times stopped transgender drivers from working for the company when their government-issued photo identifications didn't match more recent photos that reflected their gender identity. 

According to the city attorneys’ letter, Uber also noted experiences of transgender drivers being "deadnamed" by the company, a practice of calling someone by their birth name instead of their chosen name.

A statement released by the company said the issue is being addressed: 

"We recognize that for transgender and non-binary drivers and delivery people, the name and photo on their ID does not always reflect their true identity, and we take their concerns seriously," according to the company. That's why we developed a process, with input from the National Center for Transgender Equality, that enables drivers to display their chosen name in the Uber app. We've worked to train Uber staff to handle all requests with compassion, empathy, and respect. We are reviewing the city attorneys' letter and look forward to continued collaboration to help ensure our platform is an inclusive experience for everyone," Uber wrote. 

The letter requested information from Uber as it may be liable under anti-discrimination and workplace safety laws. 

The following was requested by city attorneys” 

  • Background check and fraud prevention protocols, including other policies involving photo or name verification;
  • options available to transgender and nonbinary drivers to help them meet the requirements of photo and name verification;
  •  policies and procedures related to transgender and nonbinary drivers displaying their chosen photo and name to the public; and
  • the process for drivers to change their photo or name displayed to the public.

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