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!!
On December 5, 2013, the federal court issued a significant ruling denying Uber’s motion to dismiss this case. The ruling is a big victory for Uber drivers! It endorsed the plaintiffs’ legal theories and says that the drivers can pursue their claims for tips, as well as for misclassification and expense reimbursement, under California law.
In a later decision, issued September 4, 2014, the court narrowed the legal theories that the plaintiffs can pursue, but the statutory misclassification and tips claims are going forward.
In the first decision, the court agreed with our argument that California law would apply to drivers outside California so that this case may cover drivers nationwide. However, in the more recent decision, the judge changed his mind and ruled that the case could only cover drivers in California. We are seeking to appeal that decision.
The case is now in discovery, and the court will be hearing summary judgment argument later this year.
Last year, Uber began including an “arbitration clause” in its contracts with drivers in order to prevent them from being part of a class action case. The court has not yet ruled on whether this clause is enforceable. The court agreed with the plaintiffs’ argument that the arbitration clause could undermine drivers’ ability to participate in this class action and ordered that Uber provide “corrective notice” about the arbitration clause. Under the court’s order, new drivers were given another opportunity to “opt out” of the arbitration clause. Also, when new drivers start driving for Uber, they have 30 days from the date they agree to the licensing agreement to “opt out” of the arbitration clause.
Because the 30 days have now passed since Uber sent out the revised agreement with the arbitration clause, we are no longer submitting opt out forms to Uber, except for drivers who have recently started driving for Uber and are still within the 30 days of having agreed to Uber’s licensing agreement. But if you are interested in this case and want to stay informed about what is happening, please fill out and send us this form, or e-mail your name and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions, feel free to call the lawyer representing Uber drivers, Shannon Liss-Riordan, or her paralegal assistants Elizabeth Lopez and Phil Acevedo or associate attorneys Ben Weber and Adelaide Pagano. They can be reached at (617) 994-5800, or by e-mail at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Attorney Liss-Riordan has 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.
If you have agreed to Uber’s licensing agreement within the last 30 days, please fill out this form and return it to us as soon as possible in order to opt out of Uber’s arbitration agreement. You can also opt out by sending an e-mail to Uber at email@example.com and saying that you want to opt out of the arbitration agreement.
In order to stay informed, and be added to our list of drivers interested in the case, please fill out and send us this form, or e-mail your name and contact information to:
Uber cannot legally retaliate against you for cooperating with the lawsuit.
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 Drivers Sue Over Tips, Contractor Classifications
The Recorder | August, 2013
Uber Sued Again Over Tip-Skimming Claims, Case Could Go National
Xconomy | August, 2013