Uber mistakenly sent out an email to some of its drivers and delivery workers last month offering to cover some of their health insurance costs — only to revoke the offer two weeks later. From a report: On May 26th, an email from Uber with the enticing subject line “It’s a great time to get health coverage” appeared in the inbox of an unspecified number of the company’s drivers and delivery workers. When they opened the email, they were greeted by an even more alluring proposition: “Uber can help cover your healthcare costs.” Drivers and couriers for Uber are classified as independent contractors, making them ineligible for employer-sponsored health insurance plans. For years, many of these workers have lobbied for more benefits and protections, only to face vicious opposition from Uber.
So one can only imagine the shock from drivers who opened this email and saw an offer for subsidies ranging from $613.77 to $1,277.54, depending on the type of insurance plan they had and the amount of hours they worked each week. That kind of money could be transformative for drivers, many of whom subsist on poverty-level wages and are struggling to find work amid a steep drop in demand during the pandemic. What could account for this radical change in position by Uber? As it turns out, nothing has changed. Uber intended only to send the email to drivers and delivery workers in California, and not any other state.