Uber Settles Driver Rights Lawsuit for $100 Million

It is hard not to love Uber living in a city like Nashville. So many of us have used this service to get around town. It is a very popular service and company. However, it may be one of many companies trying to pay their workers as independent contractors instead of employees so they do not have to pay them the benefits and wages they are entitled to. If you or someone you work with feel that you have been misclassified and are not receiving the wages, overtime pay or benefits you deserve, then you should speak to a employment and overtime pay lawyer with the Higgins Firm. We will listen to your claim and help you get the compensation you are entitled to for the work that you have done.

According to this lawsuit filed last year by up to 385,000 drivers that were seeking  employee status and the associated benefits to which they would be entitled, the law requires that businesses must reimburse their employees for work-related expenses, which if drivers were classified as employees would include outlays for gas and parking that Uber and Lyft currently do not cover.

In the settlement Uber will pay $84 million to the plaintiffs, with a second payment of $16 million if its valuation increases a certain amount within a year after a public offering. The company’s latest round of venture capital financing disclosed in December valued it at $62.5 billion. Uber will also make changes to its policies, including giving more information on how and why the company bars drivers, and creating drivers associations in California and Massachusetts as appeals venues for workers who disagree with the company’s decisions.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, stated that, “The company will fund the driver associations and meet with them every quarter to discuss issues. As we’ve grown we’ve gotten a lot right but certainly not everything. This new deactivation policy is an important step forward when it comes to working with drivers. As part of this settlement, Uber has agreed not to deactivate drivers who regularly decline trips when they are logged into the app.” Uber will also allow drivers to put signs in their car windows stating that tips are not included on the app purchases.

Sharing-economy sites like Uber are able to offer low prices and convenient service in part because they classify workers as contractors using their mobile app instead of employees, which could be eligible for benefits including insurance. Uber, for instance, will only cover the cost of a driver’s accident if a rider is in the car. Legal representation for the drivers in this case has stated that, “No court has decided here whether Uber drivers are employees or independent contractors and that debate will not end here. “This case, however, with this significant payment of money, and attention that has been drawn to this issue, stands as a stern warning to companies who play fast and loose with classifying their workforce as independent contractors, who do not receive the benefits of the wage laws and other employee protections.”

Uber faces litigation about its labor policies in  other states as well. If you have worked hard for your pay and feel that you or someone you know has been misclassified as being exempt from benefits, wages and overtime pay, then you should contact a compassionate and knowledgeable employment and wage lawyer at the Higgins Firm. We will listen to your case and work with you to see to it that you get the compensation that you may eligible for by law.

You can contact us online or by calling 800.705.2121 to discuss your case and any questions you might have.

 

 

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