Uber Faces New Nationwide Lawsuits After $100M Settlement

Ride-hailing company's drivers continue to seek reclassification as employees

By Andrew Peeling May 3, 2016

Uber has been hit with two new nationwide lawsuits from its drivers after the ride-hailing company agreed less than two weeks ago to pay upwards of $100 million to drivers in settlement of lawsuits filed in California and Massachusetts, the L.A. Times reported.

Unlike the previous lawsuits, the new cases filed in Florida and Illinois aim to be national class-action lawsuits. The suits claim that Uber violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and look to recover unpaid overtime wages and expenses, as well as requesting that drivers be reclassified as employees instead of independent contractors. Reclassifying the drivers as employees would make them eligible for benefits such as sick leave and entitled to overtime pay and minimum wage.

Uber agreed on April 21 to pay $84 million to its drivers in settlement of two previous lawsuits, with a second payment of $16 million if the company goes public and its valuation increases one and a half times its 2015 valuation. The drivers, however, would remain as independent contractors and not employees.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick wrote in a news release after the settlement that the company was pleased that its drivers would remain independent contractors because it provided them the freedom "to be their own boss."

More Coverage:

Uber Will Pay Upwards of $100M to Drivers in Settlement
Ride-hailing company Uber agreed to pay upwards of $100 million to settle labor lawsuits brought by its drivers who sought to be classified as employees instead of independent contractors.

Adapt Travel Policies for ‘Sharing Economy’ Users
Services like Uber and Airbnb are examples of the rapidly expanding “sharing economy,” a collaborative consumption model where peers share their resources and time.

Employees’ Use of Sharing Economy Poses Risks
The sharing economy is booming, but employers shouldn’t require employees to use it on work trips, according to Linda Hollinshead, an attorney with Duane Morris in Philadelphia.

Up to Juries: Uber, Lyft Drivers’ Status as Employees or Contractors
In two cases stretching the boundaries of what it means to be an employee, juries will decide whether Uber and Lyft drivers are employees or independent contractors.


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