Are Uber Drivers Employees in California?

Labor Commission Says Uber Drivers are Employees

In June 2015, the California Labor Commission ruled that a former Uber driver was actually an employee for Uber, and not an independent contractor. Uber, which offers driving services to customers, has faced other claims similar to this one from Uber drivers.  An independent contractor is not an employee of the business. The independent contractor classification is commonly used in “on demand” companies like Uber. If you or someone you know is or was a driver for Uber, Lyft, or any other similar type of company, you may be part of a class action lawsuit. Please contact us:  Fill out the form on this page or call (213) 217-5019.

Background: Complaints Made By Uber Drivers

Uber drivers who were considered independent contractors, and not employees of Uber, have started to complain about Uber not reimbursing them for the expenses like mileage they have driven, and for not receiving overtime pay from Uber.

Other expenses include insurance, gas, oil, tires, maintenance and cell phone usage.

There is a lively and active social media presence on sites such as Facebook that discuss Uber drivers’ problems and complaints about drivers’ payments, expenses and reimbursement by Uber.

Uber Drivers and Lyft Drivers — Employee Versus Contractor

When a worker is required to meet many rules and regulations, does not have control over their own time, cannot make important decisions about their work schedule or duties and works for one company, then the worker starts to look more like an employee than an independent contractor.  There are many laws and rules that have to be analyzed to decide if a worker is an independent contractor or an employee.  You can discuss your employment situation and problems by contacting us — fill out the form on this page or call 817-455-6822.

Drivers for “on demand” services are many times required to be available and wait for their next assignment or ride.  This waiting time, whether before, during or after a ride, was part of the recent Labor Commission case.  There is also an issue whether drivers should have to pay their own expenses or Uber should pay because they are the employer.

The Effect of the California Labor Commission Ruling on Future Claims Against Companies Such As Uber and Lyft

Although one former Uber driver has had this successful claim decided by the California Labor Commission against Uber, some believe that the outcome of each case will still depend on its own facts or situation. Some lawyers have stated that the type of law dealing with these issues is very complicated. That is why it is important to talk to a lawyer about your claim.  The California Labor Commission’s rulings do not have to be followed in all future cases.

However, once a case such as the Labor Commissioner’s recent ruling becomes well known, future claims are likely to attempt to “piggy back” on this successful case and attempt to use the  case as precedent.

The Uber driver who was successful in her case is still facing an appeal from Uber. The Uber driver’s court date for the appeal is set for October.

Please Contact Us

If you or someone you know was a driver for Uber, Lyft or any other similar company, and were classified as an independent contractor, you may be part of a class action lawsuit. An investigation into this matter is ongoing. Please contact us at (213) 217-5019.

For more information regarding Labor and Employment issues, please visit us at our Labor and Employment Page

 

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