The Third Circuit revived claims asserted by UberBlack drivers that Uber misclassified them as independent contractors to deny them proper minimum and overtime wages. The trial court had granted summary judgment in Uber’s favor. Now, the drivers will go to trial to prove whether they are, in fact, employees.

The three judge panel vacated U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson’s April 2018 decision granting summary judgment to Uber Technologies Inc., saying there isn’t yet a cut-and-dried answer to the question of whether UberBlack drivers are employees or independent contractors, so the dispute should be allowed to go to trial.

The plaintiffs drive for Uber’s higher-end service UberBlack, which offers rides in luxury sedans or SUVs. Uber has maintained throughout the litigation that the drivers are entrepreneurs who are in business for themselves. Uber also contends that the drivers provide a service materially and wholly different from the business that Uber operates in — which is the development and licensing of its smartphone-based ride-hailing app — and acted at all times in their own interest and for their own advantage while also deriving their revenue from multiple streams.

Meanwhile, attorneys for the drivers have hailed the decision as a major win, describing it as the first court of appeals decision to address the proper classification of gig-economy workers under the FLSA.

Travis Lenkner of Keller Lenkner LLC said March 3rd on Twitter that under this ruling, “it is difficult to imagine how Uber and other gig companies can avoid trial on any of their workers’ misclassification claims.”

The appellate case is Ali Razak et al. v. Uber Technologies Inc. et al., case number 18-1944, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.


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Shortly after the California lawmakers passed a bill calling for gig economy workers to be labeled employees rather than independent contractors, an Uber driver in San Francisco filed a proposed class action alleging she and other drivers were misclassified as independent contractors and underpaid. The legislation, which, if signed by the governor will take effect in 2020, requires employers to prove three things to classify workers as independent contractors: that the workers are free from their control, perform work outside the usual business, and — independent of the work for the company — are regularly engaged in the trade they’re hired to do.

Uber’s Chief Legal Officer Tony West acknowledged in a statement Wednesday that the ABC test “certainly sets a higher bar for companies to demonstrate that independent workers are indeed independent,” but added that “just because the test is hard does not mean we will not be able to pass it.”

West noted that several courts have held that drivers’ work falls outside the usual course of Uber’s business, which he described as “serving as a technology platform for several different types of digital marketplaces.” He also said the company will continue to respond to litigation or arbitrations in which it is accused of misclassification, in keeping with Uber’s current approach.

The suit alleges that Uber, as a result of misclassifying its drivers, committed a series of wage violations against them, including not paying for business expenses like gas, insurance and vehicle maintenance and not paying them required minimum wages and overtime


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Uber Technologies Inc. has agreed to pay $20 million to nearly 14,000 drivers to settle a class action lawsuit alleging that the ride-hailing company misclassified those drivers as independent contractors. The settlement only includes drivers in Massachusetts and California that did not have arbitration clauses in their contracts with Uber.

In 2015, a California federal court had certified a class of 240,000 California drivers. In 2016, that court was presented with a $100 million settlement that included the Massachusetts drivers. But the court rejected the earlier agreement, taking issue with the resolution of the Private Attorneys General Act claims in the case. That case was later greatly diminished when the Ninth Circuit ruled in September that Uber’s arbitration agreements with class waivers were valid and enforceable, reversing the lower court’s finding to the contrary.

The case is O’Connor et al. v. Uber Technologies Inc. et al., case number 3:13-cv-03826, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.


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Five hundred class members who are part of a 2017 class-action suit against Uber alleging pay discrimination and harassment against women and people of color have agreed to settle their dispute with Uber for $10 million. Of that larger group, 56 specifically filed claims alleging sexual harassment or a hostile work environment, and will receive part of a separate $1.9 million payout, an average of $34,000 each. Continue reading “Uber Pays $10 Million to Settle Discrimination Class Action”

A Kings County New York Judge has ruled that Uber cannot force arbitration on a customer, finding that Uber had not proven that the customer agreed to arbitrate disputes when she signed up on-line for Uber’s services. Continue reading “Judge Rules Uber Cannot Force Private Arbitration on Customer”

Uber won praise on May 12, 2018, when it announced it would no longer steer sexual misconduct claims into arbitration. However, the announcement failed to note that the company refrained from any promises that it would free victims from arbitration agreements if their claims are part of class action litigation. Continue reading “Uber Claims It Is Ending Arbitration For Sexual Harassment Claims, But It Still Bars Class Actions”

A former Lyft driver has filed a proposed class action lawsuit in California federal court accusing Uber of spying on Lyft drivers’ locations with a secret software program referred to internally as “Hell.”

Continue reading “Lyft drivers file class action against Uber”

A proposed class action filed in California federal court alleges that Uber’s upfront pricing model charges passengers a higher fare based on a longer route, but requires drivers to take the shortest route, allowing Uber to pocket the difference.

Continue reading “Class action alleges that Uber charges consumers for longer route than it pays drivers”

In a strongly worded decision, Judge Rakoff began his opinion by raising suspicion about whether the Federal Arbitration Act could properly be applied in today’s commercial context:

Continue reading “Respected US District Judge Jed Rakoff refuses to enforce Uber’s arbitration and class action waiver clauses”

CarUber 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.

Continue reading “Uber settles driver misclassification class action for $100 million”

CarUber Black drivers filed a class action lawsuit against Uber following a protest in Southwest Philadelphia.

Continue reading “Uber Black drivers file class action in Pennsylvania”

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Lyft, Inc. has agreed to pay $12.25 million and give additional job security to a proposed class of current and former California drivers suing the ride-hailing service in California federal court. 

Continue reading “Lyft will pay $12 million to settle driver misclassification case”

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The Uber class action in which drivers allege ride-sharing company misclassified them as independent contractors will go to trial in June 2016.

Continue reading “Uber drivers class action gets June 2016 trial date”

CarUber drivers scored a major victory against the ride-hailing company Tuesday when a California federal judge agreed to certify a class of Golden State drivers who claim they were mislabeled as independent contractors and cheated out of tips.

Continue reading “Class Action certified against Uber”

CarA California federal judge refused to allow Uber Technologies Inc. to send to arbitration two putative class actions in which drivers allege the company violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by running background checks without authorization.

Continue reading “Uber is barred from sending background check cases to arbitration”