[By Bloomberg News]

Former Uber Technologies Inc. driver Ahmed Youssef claims he was fired for participating in a peaceful protest against the company.

In a lawsuit filed today in Illinois federal court, Youssef says he faced retaliation after participating in an October 2018 protest urging Uber and rival ride-share company Lyft Inc. to limit the number of their drivers on the road. Youssef was captured in a Chicago Tribune photograph holding a sign that said, “Lyft/Uber Respect Chicago Drivers.”

Two months later, Youssef claims he was deactivated as a driver for the standard Uber X service. Six months later, after he bought a $75,000 Lincoln Navigator, Youssef says he was deactivated from the luxury Uber Black service.”Youssef was terminated from Uber solely based on his participation in the peaceful protest pursuant to his First Amendment right as a private citizen,” the lawsuit said.Uber declined to comment. Youssef said in his lawsuit that Uber said it was deactivating him for, among other transgressions, creating duplicate accounts, accepting trips without intending to complete them and claiming false fees or charges.”Unfortunately, this deactivation is permanent and irreversible,” Uber told Youssef, according to his lawsuit.

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