Uber drivers file an employment dispute claim over classification

Uber -- a ride hailing service that connects passengers and drivers via smartphone -- may be on the brink of a class action lawsuit. A U.S. District Court judge is still evaluating all of the facts surrounding a case that was commenced by three of Uber's drivers. The California-based company may not only have the plaintiffs to deal with, but also potentially over 160,000 other drivers if the employment dispute claim is granted class action status.

According to the complaint, the Uber drivers were all classified as independent contractors, which the plaintiffs claim is an incorrect classification. As independent contractors, they are not eligible for unemployment, workers' compensation, overtime and other benefits. These workers are also required to pair for their own expenses, such as maintenance and gas.

If the judge grants case class action status and ultimately rules that Uber misclassified the status of its workers, it could set a precedent for other similarly situated companies. This ruling could mean that Uber would be subject to paying damages to all of the plaintiffs in the class as well as providing the benefits to which employees would be entitled. The workers would also have the opportunity to unionize.

California workers who believe that they have been classified incorrectly are fully entitled to research the option to file employment dispute claims against their employers. In successfully navigated cases, monetary damages and other judicial relief may be awarded to the claimants. Moreover, rulings that reject any misclassifications of employees as independent contractors could have far-reaching consequences for employers.

Source: cnet.com, "Uber drivers will have to wait a bit longer to learn if they can join lawsuit", Brett Murphy, Aug. 6, 2015

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