Uber and a group of drivers were able to come up with a $100-million agreement last week over employee rights; however, this does not include the tip-included in-app option the drivers have been demanding.
The settlement seeks to "clarify on its website and in communications with Drivers and riders that tips are not included on Uber's platforms (except on UberTAXI), and that tipping is neither expected nor required."
According to Uber, they are not giving in to the demands of the company's drivers to include an in-app tipping option. According to The Boston Globe, Uber argues that doing such makes it unfair due to passengers' unconscious racial biases.
On Thursday morning, the ride-hailing company clarified its decision. The company pointed out academic studies that point out the biases of passengers, including being more favourable to white workers. On the other hand, this, according to Uber, might trigger drivers to focus in areas that have wealthier residents in search for larger tips.
"Tipping is not included, nor is it expected or required. In fact, riders tell us that one of the things they like most about Uber is that it's hassle-free. And that's how we intend to keep it," Uber states.
One of the studies that became a basis of the company's argument is the 2008 Cornell University report which states that white servers receive better tips than their black counterparts. "Drivers know that they earn the same for doing the same trip, no matter who they are or where they're from," Uber added.
However, a number of Uber drivers said the argument is a poor as they have known a lot of people who would like to give tips. "People want to tip. There have been many times in Uber when people want to give me extra, but they have no cash. It's not their fault, it's Uber's stupidity," Tanya Forrister, a white woman offering driving services for Uber, told Newsweek.
On the other hand, Melody Lopez, a black woman from Boston, says: "I think [Uber's argument] is a clever cop-out. I had sexual harassment. I have not experienced anything racist though. I know people who drive Uber that have experienced insensitive remarks because [the passengers] were inebriated."