- The Washington Times - Friday, March 3, 2017

Uber drivers in the United Kingdom are subject to the same English-language proficiency standards governing the taxicab industry, a British court ruled Friday, Reuters reported. The move will likely result in a substantial thinning of the ridesharing app’s pool of eligible drivers.

For its part, Uber had argued before the High Court that regulations imposed by Transport for London (TfL), the transit authority that runs the British capital’s subway system and iconic double-decker buses, were too onerous and lacked a rational connection to ensuring passenger safety.

For example, “[w]riting an essay has nothing to do with communicating with passengers or getting them safely from A to B,” Uber official Tom Elvidge said in a statement, Reuters reported. “We intend to appeal this unfair and disproportionate new rule,” he added.

The development comes on the heels of a public-relations crisis for Uber after company CEO Travis Kalanick was caught on camera berating a driver who had criticized the way he was running the company. That video, which surfaced Tuesday, was recorded in early February.

Mr. Kalanick apologized to driver Fawzi Kamel and sent along his regrets in an email to company employees. For his part, however, Mr. Kamel has not accepted the apology, NBC News reported Wednesday.

Uber is also contending with allegations of a hostile work environment at its corporate headquarters as a female engineer alleges she was sexually harassed by a supervisor and that the company’s human resources department failed to properly address her complaints.

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