Uber/Lyft Video Proof

(WSVN) - The camera doesn’t lie, but a driver for Lyft and Uber says his videos were ignored, and it cost him his job. Can the companies trust a passenger over a video? It’s why one man turned to Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

Put Reyner behind a steering wheel, and you have a happy fellow.

Reyner Castaño, problem with maskless riders: “It started out with doing food deliveries. I also did Amazon Prime deliveries. I’ve done DoorDash. Then I went into Uber.”

When you put those passengers in the back seat, that desire to drive can disappear.

Reyner Castaño: “They’re not following the guidelines.”

The troubles started when Lyft and Uber required drivers and passengers to wear a mask. As Reyner quickly realized, some passengers don’t mask their feelings about masks.

Reyner Castaño: “I’ve had passengers retaliate by almost attacking me.”

The dashcam Reyner captures them all. Dozens of grumpy riders since the coronavirus brought the mask rule.

Reyner Castaño: “I have so many videos, it’s hard to pick the amount of confrontations I’ve had doing this.”

Reyner never knows what to expect when he asks a passenger to put their mask on.

Reyner Castaño: “I’ve had them scream at me, too.”

Of course, the confrontations are never the riders’ fault. Instead, they complain about Reyner.

Reyner Castaño: “I’ve had them report false allegations against me.”

The result?

Reyner Castaño: “I’ve been deactivated with Uber. I’m right now going through the same process with Lyft.”

But Reyner wasn’t worried. He sent the videos to the ride companies to prove the passengers were maskless and made up their complaints about him.

Reyner Castaño: “After each video that I sent, I got a response within three minutes, which to me says that they did not see the videos.”

Reyner says, since the rideshare companies didn’t bother to even look at the videos to prove Reyner was telling the truth, the maskless people won and left the driver driverless.

Reyner Castaño: “I’m the one being punished for enforcing Uber and Lyft policies, and it’s not fair.”

Well, Howard, Reyner has the video he says proves he is right, but he still got fired. Legally, can they do that?

Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “Yes. The drivers are independent contractors, and the ride sharing companies do not have to look at the videos if they do not want to and can terminate a driver like Reyner if they choose to.”

Uber told us they did look at the videos but removed Reyner form the app for different issues unrelated to the masks.

Lyft also told us they also looked at the videos, and Reyner can still drive for them. They added, “Drivers can always decline to accept or cancel rides for health safety reasons, without penalty.”

While independent contractors don’t have many rights, what about full-time employees at a business, Howard?

Howard Finkelstein: “Florida is what’s called ‘at will’ state, meaning you can fire an employee for any reason you want except for a discriminatory reason, so you can be dumped for wearing a blue shirt to work, but you cannot be fired because of your race or religion.”

Reyner Castaño: “I feel betrayed.”

Reyner says that’s because he did ask drivers to get out of the car when they refused to wear a mask, but the companies believed the passengers’ stories instead of his videos.

Of course, you may be thinking, now that Uber has dumped Reyner, he should just quit driving for Lyft as well. It’s not worth the aggravation the maskless passengers cause. Reyner says he can’t quit. He has to make a living to pay his bills.

Wanna unmask someone giving you problems? Don’t let them take you for a ride. Let us give you a lift, and be Uber fast in helping you.

Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
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