In Miami-Dade County, Florida it is a requirement that ride-sharing drivers speak English. There’s one Uber driver who found that out the hard way and is now claiming discrimination.
CBS Miami reports that Carmen Echevarria said in Spanish as she showed them the fine, “The fine if $250 for not speaking English fluently.”
Echevarria has been reportedly driving for Uber for about two years, and was outraged after getting the fine Sunday morning at Miami International Airport.
The Uber driver recorded the fine getting exchange on her cell phone.
ECHEVARRIA: Why are you giving me a ticket?
INSPECTOR: Because there is a code “Unable to communicate in English.”
According to Echevarria, the incident began after she’d dropped off some passengers and an employee of the airport asked her to move her vehicle. Echevarria didn’t quite understand all of what the airport worker was saying.
Echevarria said, “She said, ‘I don’t know what you’re doing working for Uber if you don’t speak English.’ I did understand that part of the conversation.”
Soon after the exchange, a landside inspector came over and gave her a fine.
ECHEVARRIA: Isn’t that called discrimination?
INSPECTOR: Go to court and it can be disputed.
ECHEVARRIA: You are giving me a ticket because I don’t speak English? I just don’t understand.
INSPECTOR: I’m giving you this ticket because of a violation.
Miami-Dade County Director of Communications Michael Hernandez told CBS Miami, “According to Miami-Dade County code, our inspectors can fine someone if they do not have the proficiency in the English language; however they don’t have to be fluent in English. They simply have to be able to communicate in the language.”
During the fine getting exchange between Echevarria and the landside inspector, the Uber driver herself made some questionable remarks.
The Uber driver reportedly said, “I’m not going to court. I’m going to court with a Jewish lawyer because that is what you call discrimination,” “What happened was that black woman – I didn’t fall in her good graces.”
When all was said and done, Echevarria, drove away cursing with the fine in hand.
Uber was asked about the incident and the driver, and issued a statement that read in part:
“We are proud of the diversity of driver partners in the South Florida market and until statewide regulations go into effect on July 1st, ask all driver partners in the state to follow all applicable local laws and regulations.”
Miami-Dade County Director of Communications Michael Hernandez said there the fine could possibly be waived.