Thursday, December 1, 2011

Is it Illegal for taxi companies to collect deposits from drivers, and is there any enforcement.

On Wednesday November 30th, 2011, I sent an email over to the MTA Board of directors, Chris Hyashi Associate director of taxi services at SFMTA, The email was as follows:
I am seeking my 500.00 deposit back to me that I was forced to pay when I started working for National Cab Company in 2008. I would also like to see National Cab Company ordered to stop collecting Deposits from their drivers prior to start working. National cab company forces drivers to pay 5.00 per shift until they reach the 500.00 for a deposit. I paid this deposit and when I was fired after letting the general manager Jesus Portillo and Dan Hinds know that I have restrictions and became temporarily disabled because of a car accident that happened while I was driving a cab, they refused to give my 500.00 dollar deposit back to me.

I looked further into this matter and found that there was a court case in 1996 that prohibits cab companies in San Francisco in collecting a deposit from there drivers.

The 1996 ruling in Joseph Tracy vs. Yellow Cab barred cab companies from demanding security deposits from drivers. The order, issued by Judge William Cahill of the San Francisco Superior Court, "permanently enjoins the defendant [Yellow Cab], from classifying plaintiffs and similarly situated drivers as independent contractors for purpose of denying such drivers any benefit under California law with respect to workers' compensation, unemployment insurance, and paying a cash bond to defendants as a condition of driving a taxicab."

In addition National Cab Company refused to give me information and submit a claim to their Workers Compensation Carrier in 2009 and 2010 after accidents that were not my fault. There is a pattern where National Cab Company Dispatchers tells drivers that if they file a Workers Compensation Claim they will be fired! Workers Compensation information is not provided where it is accessible to the driver, and when you ask the company tells you that they do not have workers compensation.

Please advise if you can assist with what I consider a serious matter of workers compensation and unlawfully collecting deposits from drivers.


Today December 1st I decided to go over to city hall to find out who may help with this issue.

The first stop was at Supervisor Jane Kims Office. What a change when I walked through the front door. Everything looked so organized and nothing was hanging on the walls. I spoke with Charles Bolton who seemed very knowledgeable and willing to assist with this matter. He assured me he would make a call over to the SFMTA, I will be checking back Friday to see if that was done.

After I left Jane Kims office I walked over to the Mayor Ed Lees office and spoke with one of the desk clerks, who metioned I should go to the city attorneys office.

I did make it over to the city attorneys office where I was met with a friendly receptionist and knowledgeable too. I was placed in contact with Mariam Morley at the city attorneys office. I had a very interesting conversation with her over the phone. This is one of the reasons I found San Francisco a wonderful city for about 12 years now. People were friendly and helpful.

I then went over to the SFMTA and met with Eric Richholt, investigator for taxi services. He mentioned the issue had already been sent over to him. Eric and I spoke for a little while then he brought me to the class where Chris Hyashi was working with of new drivers and retraining. I had a brief moment to speak to her. I expressed once again to her about the deposits, odors and smells that are damaging to the drivers health by a lack of maintenance to the taxi vehicles.

The poor taxi drivers are low income individuals where every penny counts. Taxi drivers in San Francisco are under represented but yet millions are extracted from their pockets yearly through permits, fines, and tactics from cab companies.

Dean Clark
If you have anything you want to speak to me about regarding this issue please call me at
Phone 415-240-2433

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