Uber Classified as an Employer in California Lawsuit

California Employment Lawyer on Uber Lawsuit

A ruling this June in California may change the status of the transportation app Uber in the state. The court ordered Uber to pay a driver wages for the eight weeks she drove for the app, the implication of which is that the driver was an employee, rather than an independent contractor as Uber says. The ruling only extends to the individual in the case, but it opens up the possibility of class action lawsuits against Uber in the state of California. Uber plans to appeal the ruling.

Since its inception, Uber has been known as the app that provides drivers with the opportunity to pick up passengers for a fee that rivals taxis. According to Uber, the relationship between Uber and the driver is nothing more than independent contracting, and that it exists only to provide a link between driver and passenger. But the ruling in California stated that Uber exercises enough control over the drivers that the relationship is more employer/employee, and as such, Uber may have to change many of its policies and behaviors.

According to the ruling, Uber acts like an employer by exercising control over the drivers in some areas. For example, Uber provides phones to drivers and will deactivate a driver’s membership if he or she is inactive for 180 days. Labor activists have said that Uber does not pay for any costs to its drivers, but reaps the benefit of their labor and the use of their property.

Other states with similar lawsuits have classified Uber drivers as freelancers. California and Florida are the only two states where Uber’s status as a non-binding contractor has been thrown into question. Several class action lawsuits are pending against Uber in California. However, at the moment, the ruling in favor of the Uber employee does not extend beyond her single case.

A California Labor Lawyer Can Fight for Employee Rights

Workers deserve to have certain rights, and to have those rights protected if an employer or business attempts to violate them. The California employment lawyers at the Law Offices of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob firmly believe in helping employees stand up for their rights. If you have had trouble with discrimination in the workplace, fair pay, wage theft, or any other violation of workplace rights, a California labor laws attorney may be able to help.