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Uber Class Action Lawsuit Expands Scope
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A case against Uber that seeks to change their worker statuses from independent contractors to employees will largely depend on whether class certification is granted.

Summary: The scope of the class action lawsuit against Uber has expanded to include drivers who had previously agreed to an arbitration clause.

Uber better call some help. The groundbreaking ride share app has been hit with another setback in its legal battle over driver classification.


As mentioned in a previous post, wage and hour lawsuits against employers are hitting a record high. Uber has been under attack because it classifies its drivers as independent contractors instead of employees, and the lawsuit alleges that is a misclassification.

Independent contractors are responsible for all of their expenses such as social security tax and car maintenance. If the drivers are found to be employees, Uber would have to cover those costs as well as provide health insurance, paid sick days, and overtime.

In September, a lawsuit that challenged Uber’s worker classification was granted class action status. On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that drivers in California can join the suit, even if they had accepted the company’s arbitration.

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U.S. District Court Judge Edward Chen declared Uber’s arbitration clause was unenforceable. His ruling allows the majority of California’s 160,000 drivers to join the suit.

If drivers are found to be employees, they are entitled to pursue vehicle and phone-related reimbursements.

Uber responded that they will appeal Chen’s decision.

“Nearly 90 percent of drivers say the main reason they use Uber is because they love being their own boss. As employees, drivers would lose the personal flexibility they value most – they would have set shifts, earn a fixed hourly wage, and be unable to use other ridesharing apps,” Uber said in a statement to CNET.

Uber uses a phone app that allows passengers to call cars to give them rides. It has revolutionized the taxi industry, and since its inception in 2006, it has grown from a San Francisco-based business to an international service.

The drivers in the class action suit are represented by attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan of Lichten & Liss-Riordan, P.C. More information on how to join the suit can be found on the class action website.

The case will go to trial on June 20.




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