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Lawsuit Alleges that Uber Incorrectly Classified Drivers as Independent Contractors

Uber driver with passenger in the back

In recent years, Uber Technologies, Inc. (Uber), the popular ridesharing platform, has faced several lawsuits and/or arbitrations  regarding the employment status of its drivers and its alleged tactic of avoiding providing its drivers with the associated benefits and protections, such as minimum wage, overtime pay, health care and reimbursement for working expenses. However, the rideshare company has continued to maintain that its drivers are, in fact, independent contractors, claiming their drivers are eligible to retain their own scheduling hours.

While the company says its drivers are able to maintain flexible work hours, many argue the rideshare company exerts significant control over its drivers through various means, such as setting ride fares, providing behavioral guidelines, and implementing rating systems. Thousands of Uber drivers across the United States believe these factors alone demonstrate an employment relationship and that Uber should classify its drivers as employees. 

If you believe you have been misclassified by Uber and denied your rightful wages and healthcare benefits, we may be able to help you. Are you an Uber driver? If so, contact a Morgan & Morgan attorney today to receive a free case evaluation.
 

 

What is Worker Misclassification?

Companies commonly classify their workers as employees or independent contractors in order to ensure their business is in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the US Department of Labor. There are several differences between workers who are classified as employees and those classified as self-employed workers or independent contractors. 

Being classified as an employee comes with certain benefits. Unlike independent contractors who work under short-term, contract-based jobs, employees are given a consistent work schedule, guaranteed a regular wage, and entitled to benefits. This distinction is essential for individuals to be aware of their entitlements and rights in the workplace.

Under the FLSA, employers are required to pay their workers at least the federal minimum wage. Employers must also abide by current overtime rules, which state that they must pay their employees "time-and-a-half" wages or 1.5 times the employee's regular hourly wage for all of the hours worked over the national overtime limit of 40 hours per week.

However, many companies have recently opted to abuse employee classification by misclassifying their employees as contractors to save money. When companies like Uber choose to misclassify their workers, they avoid paying minimum wage and enrolling workers in a health benefits plan. This also prevents companies from needing to comply with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission laws, which prevent employment discrimination.

While this tactic may save these larger corporations millions of dollars each year, those who work in the gig economy fields, such as rideshare and delivery drivers, are most affected by this issue. If you believe you are a victim of misclassification by Uber, we highly recommend you speak to a Morgan & Morgan worker misclassification attorney today. Working with an attorney can help you understand what you may be entitled to recover after Uber has misclassified you as an independent contractor.

 

Have Lawsuits/Arbitrations Been Filed Against Uber for Misclassification?

Yes, over the years, multiple lawsuits and/or arbitrations  have been filed against Uber Technologies Inc. regarding worker misclassification. Some of the most recent lawsuits include the 2016 O'Connor v. Uber Technologies, Inc. lawsuit, in which current and former Uber drivers alleged that Uber violated various federal and state statutes by misclassifying its drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. Then, in July 2022, Uber settled a class-action lawsuit with California drivers who claimed they were misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees, agreeing to pay $8.4 million.

Also, in 2022, Uber Technologies Inc. and Rasier LLC submitted a $100 million payment to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Unemployment Trust Fund after an audit found the ride-share companies improperly classified hundreds of thousands of drivers as independent contractors. The company audit proved the company deprived its workers of crucial safety-net benefits such as unemployment, temporary disability, and family leave insurance, as well as failed to make required contributions toward unemployment, temporary disability, and workforce development.

 

In What States Are Uber Drivers Affected by Worker Misclassification? 

If you are an Uber driver operating in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington, the District of Columbia, Illinois, or Texas and believe you have been misclassified, you may be eligible to file a claim. For more information, connect with a Morgan & Morgan worker misclassification attorney today to receive a free case evaluation

 

What Could I Recover in a Misclassification Action?

Typically, in a worker misclassification action, victims will seek compensation for any lost wages and benefits they would have received over the course of their employment with the company. Lost wages include, but are not limited to, the difference in wages you may have received as a misclassified worker and the wages you should have received under the proper employee classification. Lost wages may also include overtime pay and minimum wage differences.

When seeking lost benefits, you may be entitled to recover Social Security or Medicare benefits, paid time off, and retirement plans. For a more in-depth understanding of what you may be eligible to recover as a misclassified worker, we highly recommend you speak with a Morgan & Morgan worker misclassification attorney today. Companies like Uber cannot continue to misclassify their employees and must be held accountable. 

If you are an Uber driver in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington, the District of Columbia, Illinois, or Texas and believe you have been misclassified and denied your rightful wages and healthcare benefits, we may be able to help you. For more information, contact a Morgan & Morgan worker misclassification attorney today to receive a free no-risk case evaluation.

 

What Can Uber Drivers Do?

If you are an Uber driver and believe Uber has misclassified you, we highly encourage you to contact an attorney. Speaking with an attorney will help you understand your rights as an employee and how you can hold Uber accountable for their actions against you. For more information about worker misclassification and how a Morgan & Morgan attorney can help, contact our law firm today by completing our free, no-obligation case evaluation form.​​

 

How Can Morgan & Morgan Help Misclassified Uber Drivers?

Speaking to a Morgan & Morgan attorney can change the trajectory of your case. Over the last 35 years, our attorneys have handled thousands of worker misclassification actions, which makes us uniquely qualified to take on your case. When you decide to hire our law firm, you can rest assured that your attorney and legal staff will work round the clock to ensure you have the best case moving forward.

Your attorney and legal team will assess your case, gather the necessary documents or evidence, and work with industry experts to help further validate your worker misclassification case. If you are an Uber driver in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington, the District of Columbia, Illinois, or Texas and believe Uber has misclassified you, we may be able to help you get the justice you deserve. 

Working with a Morgan & Morgan attorney can help you better understand your employee rights and if the company you are working for has misclassified you to keep from providing you the benefits you are legally entitled to. For more information regarding your claim, contact a Morgan & Morgan attorney by completing our free, no-obligation case evaluation form.