Updating a series of blog posts we have published recently, a San Francisco federal court ruled last week that drivers are entitled to enter into class action litigation with Uber over employee classification.
According to the Huffington Post, the ruling could be vital in threatening Uber’s business model, which relies on drivers as “independent contractors,” who set their own hours using the app, providing rides to people in cities throughout the country. In July, Uber began to push back against drivers who claim that they are misclassified as independent contractors by saying that hundreds of people had notified the company that they liked how they were classified as workers.
However, the drivers involved in the lawsuit claim that Uber should consider them employees, and that they should be reimbursed for items like gas and vehicle maintenance. In the class action ruling last week, a judge wrote drivers in California “could sue as a group on the question of whether they are employees or contractors, and over their demand for payment of tips that were not passed on to them.”
U.S. District Judge Edward Chen also ruled that drivers who have worked for Uber since 2014, who are looking to enter into the lawsuit, must opt out of an arbitration agreement in order to sue the company. If the plaintiffs are successful in the class action case, Uber could be forced to pay for drivers’ Social Security, workers’ compensation benefits and unemployment insurance.
It should be noted that earlier this summer, in one lawsuit, the California labor commissioner ruled that an Uber driver was an employee and not a contractor. The case is currently in the appeals process.
Holding an Employer Liable for Misclassification
Continue to follow our blog for more information about the Uber driver lawsuit. Unfortunately, it is common for transportation providers and startups to misclassify employees as independent contractors in California. They do this to cut operating costs, as they are able to avoid paying for employee benefits.
If believe that your employment status is misclassified or are interested in joining the Uber class action lawsuit, talk to our Los Angeles labor lawyers. You can contact us by using the request form or phone number located on this page. When you enter into class action litigation or file an individual lawsuit, you can seek damages and back pay.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys