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Uber Drivers Lawsuit Given Class Certification
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Summary: A California District Judge has allowed a lawsuit brought by Uber drivers to move forward as a class lawsuit, although he did place restrictions on which drivers are allowed to participate.

Uber Technologies Inc. is still fighting against whether their drivers are contractors or employees. A California federal judge has certified the claim as a class from a possible 160,000 drivers. U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen agrees that the Uber’s classification of drivers as contractors does not follow their argument that the experiences of the drivers are too diversified to merit class certification.


Chen wrote in his decision, “there is inherent tension between this argument and Uber’s position on the merits. On one hand, Uber argues that it has properly classified every single driver as an independent contractor; on the other, Uber argues that individual issues with respect to each driver’s ‘unique’ relationship with Uber so predominate that this court – unlike, apparently, Uber itself – cannot make a classwide determination of its drivers’ proper job classification.”

The classification will cover the lack of tips claim from UberBlack, UberX, and Uber SUV drivers that signed up under their individual name since August 16, 2009, were paid by Uber or its subsidiary, and did not accept the company’s arbitration agreement.

The lead plaintiffs were seeking for certification of the whole 160,000 but many will not fall under the restrictions. Judge Chen ultimately says it must be determined once and for all what the drivers are: employees or contractors. He was not willing to allow a certification that would require Uber to reimburse the drivers.

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The drivers are hoping that a win will pave the way for drivers in other states to bring their own lawsuits to recover lost tips.




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