TOPEKA (KSNT) – The ACLU of Kansas is intervening after it said a Topeka UberEats driver was forced to out himself as transgender.
The organization said it sent a letter Monday on behalf of Mr. [R****] to the food delivery service. The driver has asked to only be identified by last initial to protect his privacy.
A spokesperson said the driver tried repeatedly to update his driver profile through the company app to show the correct name and pronouns.
He first requested the change in April. UberEats said it would make the change to the account, but nothing came out of it. The next several attempts from the driver were ignored by the company.
Mr. [R****] told Uber, “If you don’t change this, you are continuing to put me in danger. This isn’t a nickname, this isn’t some username.”
In the letter, the ACLU of Kansas wrote the driver was forced to have his profile display his legal name, which he no longer uses and doesn’t match his gender. Because of this, he has already faced some consequences, according to the organization.
“Mr. [R****] has experienced harassment and ridicule as a result: he has made deliveries where he has endured demeaning comments and felt fearful for his safety because his displayed name does not match his male gender or presentation. Mr. [R****] believes that UberEats’ outing of his transgender status has led to decreased tips and ride opportunities, which are essential to him making money in this role. UberEats’ name display policy unnecessarily places drivers at risk.”ACLU of Kansas
As of Tuesday afternoon, UberEats has updated the driver’s profile. In a statement, the company said, “We apologize for the difficulties Mr. [R****] has faced as he tried to make changes within the app, which have now been resolved.”
UberEats also said it has recently announced that drivers can choose to display their self-identified first name, without requiring the display of their legal name. They also announced the company will start a fund to help employees pay for fees associated with identity change.
This change should make it easier for other drives to change names without needing the company’s approval.