Today’s post was shared by Workers Comp Brief and comes from www.sfgate.com
Juries must decide whether California drivers for the ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft are employees entitled to minimum wages, expenses and other workplace benefits, two San Francisco federal judges ruled Wednesday, rejecting the companies’ argument that the drivers must be considered independent contractors.
U.S. District Judges Edward Chen, in the Uber case, and Vince Chhabria, in the Lyft case, said the drivers resemble contractors in some respects, such as their ability to choose their work hours and the riders they accept, and employees in other respects, such as the companies’ control over drivers’ interactions with customers and its power to fire them at any time. “A reasonable jury could go either way,” Chhabria said.
The rulings were nonetheless at least a partial victory for the drivers, who filed the suits as proposed class actions on behalf of all drivers in California.
It’s actually “a major victory for the drivers,” said Shannon Liss-Riordan, a lawyer representing thousands of drivers for both Uber and Lyft. She said the judges “agreed with many arguments we made about why the facts point to an employment relationship.”
The stakes are considerable. State law entitles employees to minimum and overtime wages, reimbursement for work expenses, workers’ compensation benefits for job-related injuries, and unemployment insurance. Independent contractors receive none of those. A driver’s status…