Uber drivers have filed a class action lawsuit claiming they have been misclassified as independent contractors and are entitled to be reimbursed for their expenses that Uber should have to pay, like for gas and vehicle maintenance. The lawsuit also challenges Uber’s practice of telling passengers that the gratuity is included and not to tip the drivers, even though you are not getting a tip!!
We won a major victory on March 11, 2015, when the judge overseeing the case, Judge Edward M. Chen, of the federal district court in San Francisco, denied Uber’s motion for summary judgment! In his decision, the judge agreed with many of our arguments about why Uber drivers may be properly classified as employees. Click here to read the court’s decision. Under the court’s order, the case will go to trial before a jury. See the news stories below for reports on the ruling.
The next step in the case will now be for the court to decide class certification, which would define the scope of the case and which drivers can be covered under it. The court has set a hearing on class certification for August 6, 2015. We expect that Uber will argue that most drivers are bound by an arbitration clause, which prevents them from benefiting from a class action case in court. In another case (which challenges Uber’s background checks), the same judge who is presiding over our case ruled that Uber’s arbitration clause is unconscionable and unenforceable. However, Uber has appealed that decision. In the event that the arbitration clause is ultimately enforced, we plan to file individual arbitration cases for drivers who may be bound by the arbitration clause. So if you did not opt out of Uber's arbitration clause within 30 days of accepting the agreement (and most drivers did not), please CONTACT US so that we can add you to our list of drivers to pursue individual arbitration if we need to do that, so that you can be assured of being covered by the result we obtain. If you accepted an Uber contract within the last 30 days, you can still opt out of the arbitration clause by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and saying you want to opt out of the arbitration clause. IN OTHER WORDS, EVEN IF WE WIN THE CASE, YOU MAY NOT RECOVER ANYTHING FROM IT UNLESS YOU CONTACT US TO SIGN UP FOR ARBITRATION. SO PLEASE EMAIL ELIZABETH LOPEZ, AT email@example.com, TO SIGN UP FOR ARBITRATION, IN THE EVENT THAT WE NEED TO FILE INDIVIDUAL ARBITRATIONS FOR DRIVERS. MORE THAN A THOUSAND DRIVERS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY HAVE ALREADY CONTACTED US TO JOIN OUR LIST.
In a recent decision, the California Labor Commissioner ruled that an Uber driver was indeed an employee, not an independent contractor, and ordered Uber to reimburse the driver for her expenses. This is the same remedy we are seeking for all Uber drivers in the class action lawsuit. This decision was a great result and may be helpful to our lawsuit. We were very pleased to learn that the California Labor Commissioner agrees that Uber is acting as an employer. However, Uber has appealed the decision, which will be reviewed de novo in court, and so its impact on the class action case is not yet clear.
We filed this case on behalf of Uber drivers across the country. In an early ruling, the court agreed with us that the case could proceed on behalf of drivers nationwide. In a later ruling, however, the judge changed his mind and limited the case to drivers in California.
We think this decision was incorrect and we plan to appeal it. But meanwhile, if you have driven for Uber anywhere in the United States, and did not opt out of the arbitration clause within 30 days of accepting Uber’s licensing agreement, PLEASE CONTACT US to obtain a form to return to us so that we can pursue an individual arbitration claim for you, in the event that we have to pursue these claims individually, rather than through the class action.
If you have any questions, feel free to call or email Shannon Liss-Riordan, the lead attorney representing the Uber drivers, or her paralegal assistant, Elizabeth Lopez, at (617) 994-5800, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com.
Attorney Liss-Riordan and her firm have represented thousands of tipped employees, and employees who have been misclassified as independent contractors, all around the country. See her firm’s website for more information: www.llrlaw.com.
Click here to read a copy of the lawsuit complaint.
Click here to read the court’s summary judgment order of March 11, 2015.
Click here to read a transcript of the summary judgment hearing held on January 30, 2015.
In order to sign up for us to represent you in an individual arbitration in order to collect any wages that may be owed to you based on Uber’s misclassification of drivers (in the event that Uber’s arbitration clause is ultimately upheld), PLEASE CONTACT US to obtain a form to return to us. To stay informed, and be added to our list of drivers interested in the case, please e-mail your name and contact information to:
Adelaide Pagano, Associate Attorney
Elizabeth Lopez, Paralegal
Uber cannot legally retaliate against you for cooperating with the lawsuit.
California labor regulators blast a big hole in Uber's 'sharing economy' dodge
Los Angeles Times | June 2015
Uber driver was employee, not contractor, California commission says
Wall Street Journal | June 2015
Case against Uber seeks to reclassify drivers as employees, not contractors (Audio Interview)
SiriusXM News | May 2015
How one woman could destroy Uber's business model - and take the entire on demand economy down with it
New York Magazine | April 2015
What strippers can teach Uber
Medium | April 2015
Uber, Lyft cases could help clarify drivers' legal status
Wall Street Journal | March 2015
Uber, Lyft lawsuits could spell trouble for the on-demand economy
Time | March 2015
The lawsuits that could change Lyft and Uber forever (Video)
Bloomberg News | March 2015
What’s at stake if Uber and Lyft’s labor models go to trial
Wall Street Journal | March 2015
Juries to decide landmark cases against Uber and Lyft
Forbes | March 2015
The hidden costs of being an Uber driver
Washington Post | February 2015
Some Uber, Lyft drivers want employee status (Video)
CNBC | February 2015
Attorney suing Uber, Lyft in independent contractor case won similar fights for FedEx drivers, strippers (Video)
San Francisco Business Times | February 2015
Judges skeptical of Uber-Lyft claims in labor cases
The Wall Street Journal | February 2015
Before Uber revolutionizes labor, it's going to have to explain these embarrassing emails
The Verge | January 2015
Internal Uber e-mails reflect company's brash reputation
SF Gate | January 2015
Suits seek to force Lyft and Uber to treat drivers as employees
Buzzfeed | January 2015
The inconvenient truth about ride-sharing
Boston Globe | December 2014
Video: Uber anger: lawsuit claims drivers treated unfairly
WGBH | November 2014
Audio: Shannon Liss-Riordan - Unfair treatment of Uber Drivers
WRKO | July 2014
New lawsuit claims Uber exploits drivers
Boston Globe | June 2014
Judge to Uber: Let drivers join class-action lawsuit
SF Gate | June 2014
This Boston lawyer could be Uber's nemesis as it eyes expansion
Xconomy | May 2014
Judge orders Uber to change ADR clause
The Recorder | May 2014
Drivers accuse car app Uber of dictating terms, skimming tips
Aljazeera America | April 2014
Judge greenlights class-action lawsuit against Uber, drivers say they're being stiffed
SF Weekly | December 2013
Uber drivers' suit over tips clears hurdle
San Francisco Chronicle | December 2013
Cabbies duped by Uber given second chance
Courthouse News Service | December 2013
Uber's Other Legal Mess: Drivers Sue Over Missing Tips
Businessweek | August 2013
Lawsuit Alleges Uber Unfairly Withholds Tips From Drivers
SF Bay Guardian | August 2013
Uber Sued Again Over Tip-Skimming Claims, Case Could Go National
Xconomy | August 2013