Uber's app and logo. Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A group of women who have sued Uber, alleging that they were sexually assaulted by drivers, is asking Uber's board to release them from their arbitration agreements, according to a copy of a letter sent to Axios.

Why it matters: Companies rely on arbitration clauses buried in terms of service to keep legal disputes out of court. The practice has come under fire recently, as critics charge companies use it to hide illegal activities and silence victims.

The issue at the heart of the women's class-action lawsuit: They say Uber misled them to believe they would be safe using its service as passengers. Uber, the suit charges, doesn't do enough to screen its drivers and protect riders.

  • Uber's driver screening practices and policies have been criticized over the years for failing to catch past convictions that fall outside its scope or for not screening beyond criminal records.
  • Earlier this month, Uber announced it would start rerunning driver background checks annually. It will also add new emergency features to its app, such as the ability to call 911, and it will no longer store passengers' exact pickup and drop-off locations in drivers' apps.

As for arbitration clauses, Uber's new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, has said (in a Twitter exchange with ex-employee Susan Fowler) that he will seriously consider the issue. Of course, there's no guarantee the company will change course.

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President Trump's suburbs

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call.

President Trump cast an outdated vision of "the 'suburban housewife'" as he swiped this week at Joe Biden's newly minted running mate Kamala Harris — building on his months-long play to drive a wedge through battleground-state suburbs by reframing white voters' expectations.

The big picture: As he struggles to find an attack that will stick against the Biden campaign, Trump for a while now has been stoking fears of lawless cities and an end to what he's called the “Suburban Lifestyle Dream.” It’s a playbook from the ‘70s and ‘80s — but the suburbs have changed a lot since then.

Trump tightens screws on ByteDance to sell Tiktok

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump added more pressure Friday night on China-based TikTok parent ByteDance to exit the U.S., ordering it to divest all assets related to the U.S. operation of TikTok within 90 days.

Between the lines: The order means ByteDance must be wholly disentangled from TikTok in the U.S. by November. Trump had previously ordered TikTok banned if ByteDance hadn't struck a deal within 45 days. The new order likely means ByteDance has just another 45 days after that to fully close the deal, one White House source told Axios.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 21,056,850 — Total deaths: 762,293— Total recoveries: 13,100,902Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m ET: 5,306,215 — Total deaths: 168,334 — Total recoveries: 1,796,309 — Total tests: 65,676,624Map.
  3. Health: CDC: Survivors of COVID-19 have up to three months of immunity Fauci believes normalcy will return by "the end of 2021" with vaccine — The pandemic's toll on mental health — FDA releases first-ever list of medical supplies in shortage.
  4. States: California passes 600,000 confirmed coronavirus cases.
  5. Cities: Coronavirus pandemic dims NYC's annual 9/11 Tribute in Light.
  6. Business: How small businesses got stiffed — Unemployment starts moving in the right direction.
  7. Politics: Biden signals fall strategy with new ads.