You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

Uber Fires -- Then Promptly Rehires -- Driver Over Shockingly Innocuous Tweet After Uber driver Chris Ortiz tweeted about driver safety, he was unceremoniously dumped by the company in a letter that called his statements 'hateful.'

By Geoff Weiss

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Though Uber is notorious for its ruthless tactics to take down competitors, the company's cutthroat approach, it turns out, even extends to its own ilk.

Uber driver Chris Ortiz, 33, of Albuquerque, N.M., was unceremoniously dumped from the ridesharing company after he tweeted this Pando Daily story about a Los Angeles Uber driver who was robbed at gunpoint. "Driving for Uber," Ortiz wrote, "not much safer than driving a taxi."

"It wasn't like I was trying to make a point," Ortiz, who had a 4.8 out of 5 driver rating, told Forbes. "I was just sharing a story that people were reading."

Related: Should Complaining About Work on Social Media Be a Fireable Offense?

The company did not perceive it as such. "Sorry Christopher. Your account has been permanently deactivated due to hateful statements regarding Uber through Social Media," read an email addressed to Ortiz from Uber operations manager John Hamby. "Best of luck. UBER on!"

But soon after Ortiz took to social media to share what had happened, igniting a firestorm of indignation, Uber's stance suddenly shifted. "This was an error by the local team and the driver's account should have never been deactivated," the company said in a statement. "We reactivated the account upon discovering the mistake and we apologize to this highly rated driver partner for the inconvenience."

Even still, Ortiz's firing -- or deactivation, as Uber calls it -- raises heated questions about the company's classification of its drivers, according to Forbes. While the company considers its drivers independent contractors as opposed to employees in order to avoid liabilities, the IRS states that "if a company can fire a worker, the worker might be an employee."

Related: 10 Stupid Things Bosses Say When They Fire People

Geoff Weiss

Former Staff Writer

Geoff Weiss is a former staff writer at Entrepreneur.com.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Growing a Business

Who You Hire Matters — Here's How to Form a Team That's Built to Last

Among the many challenges related to managing a small business, hiring a quality team of employees is one of the most important. Check out this list of tips and best practices to find the best people for your business.

Data & Recovery

This Cloud Storage Deal Can be an Easy Win for Your Business: $25 for 100GB

Keep a reliable cloud storage solution on hand for business needs.

Starting a Business

This Side Hustle Is Helping Landowners Earn Up to $60,000 a Year While Connecting Outdoor Lovers With Untouched Wilderness

If you've got some land, why not make some extra cash while letting others get out into nature?

Health & Wellness

How to Escape Entrepreneurial Burnout When You Can't Just Quit

What do you do when you're experiencing burnout as an entrepreneur and you feel like your entire career is on life support as you barely make it through each day? Try these solutions for entrepreneurs who can't just quit their jobs when they've had enough.

Side Hustle

This Flexible Side Hustle Is Helping Millions Earn Extra Cash — and Might Be 'More Attractive' Than an Office Job

Side hustles remain popular for additional income — and have many questioning the 9-5 model altogether.