Uber Drivers Remain Independent Contractors as Lawsuit Settled

Edwards & Ragatz , your Jacksonville personal injury lawyer. Uber has agreed to pay up to $100 million to settle a class-action lawsuit which resolves a major challenge to its business model by allowing the ride-hailing service to keep its California and Massachusetts drivers as independent contractors, which is what Florida courts have deemed Uber drivers to be.
The lawsuit revolved around whether Uber drivers in California and Massachusetts were classed as contractors or employees, in which case they would be entitled to other benefits, driving the taxi start-ups costs higher.
As part of the settlement, the two sides agreed that the drivers will remain contractors, not employees, a good result for Uber and one likely to be welcomed by others start-ups.
Jacksonville personal injury lawyer are experts at cases similar to this. The $100 million settlement is made up of an $84 million payment to the roughly 385,000 drivers involved in the cases. A second payment of $16 million will be handed out if Uber goes public and the valuation of the company increases one and a half times from its December 2015 financing valuation with the first year of the initial public offering.
“Importantly, the case is being settled — not decided,” Shannon Liss-Riordan, the attorney representing the drivers in the suit, said in a statement.
“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 work force as independent contractors,” Ms. Liss-Riordan said.
Uber also agreed to change many of its terms and conditions for drivers as part of the settlement. The taxi app said it would:

  • Provide drivers with more information about their individual ratings, which are chosen by the users, and how it compares to their peers.
  • Fund the creation of a driver’s association in California and Massachusetts and meet them quarterly to discuss “the issues that matter most to driver”
  • Publish a “driver deactivation policy” which explains why some drivers are taken off and barred from the platform
  • Agree not to deactivate drivers who regularly decline trips when they are logged onto an app. A driver gets a request for a job and it is their decision to accept or reject it. Previously a driver could face deactivation if they declined a certain amount of trips. Uber is loosening this policy
  • Create an appeals process in both states for drivers who disagree with decisions about their account being deactivated
  • And drivers will have the right to post signs in their cars telling customers that they are free to tip the drivers.

Travis Kalanick, chief executive of Uber responded to the settlement: “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.”
The settlement is similar to a separate agreement announced with Lyft drivers earlier this year, though the Uber agreement is much larger given that Uber has many more drivers.
Source: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/22/uber-makes-100-million-settlement-in-lawsuit-over-driver-status.html & http://www.reuters.com/article/us-uber-tech-drivers-settlement-idUSKCN0XJ07Hhttp://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/04/22/475210901/uber-settles-two-lawsuits-wont-have-to-treat-drivers-as-employees
If you or a loved one suffered from any form of medical malpractice, allow a Jacksonville medical malpractice attorney to provide a free consultation. Contact an esteemed personal Jacksonville personal injury lawyer at Edwards & Ragatz for a free consultation: (800)366-1609; locally – (904)399-1609; or through our website www.edwardsragatz.com

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