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Uber Now Requiring Masks For All Passengers, Drivers; Company Lays Off 3,000 Employees

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Uber announced Monday a second round of layoffs for 3,000 employees, as the company reels amid a coronavirus pandemic which has sent its ridership numbers plunging, this on the same day that new mask requirements took effect for drivers and passengers.

Uber To Layoff 3,000 Employees And Close Some Offices
A pedestrian walks by a sign in front of the Uber headquarters on May 18, 2020 in San Francisco, California. Uber announced plans to cut 3,000 jobs and shutter or consolidate 40 offices around the world due to severely declining business as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues. The cuts come two weeks after Uber cut 3,700 employees. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Uber reported that it was letting go of 3,000 people, according to CBS News, in addition to the 3,700 people it laid off about a week ago from its customer service and recruiting departments.

"We began 2020 on an accelerated path to total company profitability," CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in an email to workers. "Then the coronavirus hit us with a once-in-a-generation public health and economic crisis. People are rightfully staying home and our rides business, our main profit generator, is down around 80%."

The rideshare giant announced the new mandatory face-covering requirements last week.

Along with this new requirement, drivers must take a selfie prior to starting their shifts that verifies that they are in fact wearing a mask.

Uber is also asking that passengers not sit in the front seat of the car in order to ensure as much physical distancing as possible.

Lyft implemented similar requirements for face coverings in early May.

In the city of Los Angeles, masks are now required to be worn by anyone going out in public.

Earlier this month, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra sued Uber and Lyft, alleging they were misclassifying their drivers as independent contractors and thus depriving them of workplace protections like minimum wage, overtime and access to paid sick leave, disability insurance and unemployment.

Last September, the California Legislature passed Assembly Bill 5, a law which requires companies who employ certain freelance workers, such as rideshare drivers, to be reclassified as employees.

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