The law of agency involves two parties, an agent and the principal. Agent is a person acting on behalf of another, known as the principal. The legal principle of the agency is, “he who does something through another does it himself.” Agency relationship may come into existence in the following ways: express appointment; where the agent is appointed directly and with clarity from the principal. Implied agency; arises by implication of express grant of authority either in reference to the past course dealings, reference to certain laws, or through relationship such as that of husband and wife. Estoppel agency refers to rule of evidence that where one party is restricted from denying the existence of some facts previously asserted. Agency by ratification may arise where the principal adopts a contract of ratification that come to be when an agent does an action without authority, where in such a case, the principal could not be liable.
The authority of an agent arises from three situations namely express, implied, and apparent. Express authority refers to instructions given specifically from the agent. Implied authority arises from conduct of the parties and the factors involved. Apparent authority arises where the act of an agent appears to other as an indicator of conduct of some representation or that could have required a third party. The law of agency requires that an agent be obedient to principal, perform duties without improper delegation, exercise due care and skill, and act in good faith. On the hand, the principal is required to remunerate the agent as well as indemnify all the expenses and losses incurred while acting on behalf of the principal.
Uber’s Legal Exposure for the Conduct of Its Drivers
Uber offers affordable and convenient cab services. Many entrepreneurs have decided to invest in the company as a part time job. There are, however, situations that would lead to Uber facing legal charges due the drivers’ action or inaction (Vara, 2014). The paper addresses certain situations that would lead to legal charges against Uber. There are also recommendations given on how to help minimize the possibility of facing legal charges as a result of drivers’ behavior.
Uber drivers may face legal charges after engaging in certain actions. One would be failing to drop their customers at their desired destinations. Another thing is that some drivers will accept to pick a customer and then cancel the request for different reasons, and the client ends up being charged for the driver’s mistake. In extreme cases, there are drivers who would liaise with thugs to rob from their clients. An example is when a driver realizes that their customer is carrying valuable items.
A ruling in the UK termed Uber drivers as workers which grants them workers’ rights such as rest breaks, holiday pay, and minimum national wage. The level of control the company has over its drivers justifies the classification of the Uber drivers being employees. This introduces a concept of agency where the drivers will be deemed to act on behalf of the company there exposing Uber to legal liability for acts committed by its drivers (Miller, 2017).
To help reduce these issues occurring, certain measures can be taken. One thing is intensive interviews and training for the drivers. It reduces chances of hiring incompetent drivers and criminals. Another thing is that warnings can be issued to drivers when involved in wrongful actions. Also, when a complaint is made by a client that requires compensation, the concerned driver should suffer part of the compensation costs. In extreme cases, an organization can sue a driver for his actions. It serves as a warning to others on the seriousness of legal concerns. It reduces chances of others participating in similar or worse situations. The company should also reconsider the level of control they have over their drivers as a way of reducing their legal liability (Egelko, 2016).
Egelko, B. (2016). Uber may be Liable for Accidents, even if drivers are contractors. Retrieved from http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Uber-may-be-liable-for-accidents-even-if-drivers-7377364.php
Miller, D. (2017). Liability Issues Impact Uber Business Model. Retrieved from https://www.withersworldwide.com/en-gb/liability-issues-impact-uber-business-model
Vara, V. (2014). Uber, Lyft, and Liability. Retrieved from https://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/uber-lyft-liability
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