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 former practice of telling passengers that the gratuity is included and not to tip the drivers, even though (until 2017) you were not getting a tip!!
We have reached a $20 million settlement on behalf of drivers who are not bound by Uber’s arbitration clause who have worked in California or Massachusetts. If you last drove for Uber before July 2013, or if you opted out of Uber’s arbitration clause, you are eligible to participate in this settlement. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (855) 590-2600 for more information.
All other drivers may pursue their claims only through arbitration. In September 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the District Court’s decision which had certified a class of most Uber drivers in California and had declared Uber’s arbitration clause to be unenforceable. As a result of the Ninth Circuit’s decision, all Uber drivers who are covered by an arbitration clause cannot be part of the lawsuit in court but instead can only pursue their claims through individual arbitration. We are pursuing arbitrations for thousands of Uber drivers. If you are signed up with us to pursue an arbitration if it became necessary, please watch your emails for any updates from us related to your arbitration.
Please note that other firms are now trying to copy what we have been doing and are soliciting Uber drivers to bring arbitrations. Our firm, Lichten & Liss-Riordan, P.C., is the original firm that began this litigation, has been fighting Uber in court (and arbitration) for more than five years, and was certified as class counsel in this case. If you have any questions, please contact us at email@example.com or by phone at (855) 590-2600.
On April 30, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling that changed the test for independent contractor status in California. The Court adopted the ABC test that is used in Massachusetts. Under this test, the burden will be on Uber to prove that drivers do not perform services within Uber’s usual course of business. In other words, if Uber cannot prove that it is not a transportation company, then its drivers would be employees under California law. We expect this decision to have a major impact on this lawsuit.
However, Uber is still continuing to vigorously defend itself in this lawsuit, and Uber is requiring most drivers to pursue individual arbitrations if they want to recover any damages for the wage law violations we have alleged. For this reason, IF YOU ARE AN UBER DRIVER IN CALIFORNIA OR MASSACHUSETTS WHO DID NOT OPT OUT OF THE ARBITRATION CLAUSE, PLEASE CONTACT US, if you have not already, to sign up to bring an arbitration claim. Thousands of Uber drivers have signed up with us to proceed in arbitration. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a form to sign up with us if you want to be included.
PREVIOUS LAWSUIT NEWS:
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. Under the court’s order, the case would go to trial before a jury. See the news stories below for reports on the ruling.
We won another important victory on December 9, 2015, when the court issued its final order certifying the case as a class action. Under this decision, the case was certified to include most Uber drivers in California since 2009.
However, Uber appealed the Court's ruling striking the arbitration clause, and its appeal at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was successful. The Ninth Circuit reversed the District Court's decision which led to the certification of this large class. Because the Ninth Circuit reversed the District Court's decision that had held Uber's arbitration clause not to be enforceable, we have been proceeding with arbitrations for drivers who have told us they are interested in bringing claims individually. If you want to be on our list, please contact us for a form.
In 2015, 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. However, Uber appealed the decision, and it was settled before it could be reviewed de novo in court.
In addition to the decision by the California Labor Commissioner, the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board has ruled that an Uber driver is an employees eligible to obtain unemployment benefits. Similarly, the Bureau of Labor and Industries of the State of Oregon has issued an Advisory Opinion that Uber drivers are employees. The New York Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board has also now ruled that Uber drivers are employees entitled to unemployment compensation. And a Pennsylvania Appeals Court has rejected Uber’s argument that its driver was operating an independent business and ruled that the driver is eligible for unemployment.
Uber has been arguing that drivers are independent contractors, and not employees, because they can set their own hours, and Uber makes much of the fact that drivers like setting their own schedules. We don’t disagree that drivers like to be able to work whenever they want! The fact that drivers set their own schedules does not make them independent contractors. We are not challenging Uber's system of providing flexibility for its drivers! We believe that, as Uber operates now, drivers are employees under California law. So if we win this case, there is no reason drivers should lose their flexibility. The judge has agreed that nothing about this case is challenging the drivers being able to set their own hours. Our argument is simply that, under the law, when drivers are working for Uber, they are Uber's employees and must receive the wage protections that employees receive.
If you have any questions, please call (855) 590-2600, or email us at email@example.com.
Attorney Shannon 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 the court’s class certification order of September 2, 2015.
Click here to read a transcript of the summary judgment hearing held on January 30, 2015.
Click here to read a transcript of the class certification hearing held on August 6, 2015.
Click here to read the court’s class certification order of December 9, 2015.
In order to join our contact list of drivers interested in the case who want to receive updates, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us your name, email address, and location where you have driven for Uber.
The attorneys representing the drivers are:
Uber cannot legally retaliate against you for cooperating with the lawsuit.
Judge to Uber: Find short-term benefits for drivers
The San Francisco Chronicle | April 2020
Uber Misclassification Risks Spreading COVID-19, Drivers Say
Law360 | April 2020
Protecting Gig Workers
Livestream with U.S. Senator Ed Markey and Shannon Liss-Riordan
Facebook | March 2020
Lyft, Uber drivers seek sick leave during pandemic, or else: ‘I’m not stopping, fever or no fever’
The San Francisco Chronicle | March 2020
Coronavirus bill includes sick leave, but not for gig workers
The Boston Globe | March 2020
Rideshare drivers sue Uber, Lyft to classify them as employees, citing coronavirus
The Hill | March 2020
Driver Asks Court To Block Uber 'Contractor' Classification
Law360 | September 2019
Uber Hit With Misclassification Suit Invoking Dynamex Bill
Law360 | September 2019
SF Uber and Lyft drivers take to the streets, block Market Street traffic for better wages
SF Examiner | May 2019
Uber to pay $20 million to some California, Massachusetts drivers in gig-work case
SF Chronicle | March 2019
Uber Strikes $20M Deal In Driver Misclassification Suit
Law360 | March 2019
Uber scores a big win in legal fight to keep drivers as independent contractors
The Verge | September 2018
California Ruling a ‘Seismic Shift’ for Gig Economy Workers
Associated Press | May 2018
Gig Economy Business Model Dealt a Blow in California Ruling
The New York Times | April 2018
Mass Uber Drivers Can Proceed In Misclassification Row
Law 360 | March 2018
NLRB to Argue Against Uber in Key Labor Fight in Ninth Circuit
The Recorder | August 2017
Calif. Judge Pauses Five Uber Suits As 9th Circ. Ponders
Law360 | November 2016
In stinging decision for Uber drivers, appeals court says they must go to arbitration
LA Times | September 2016
U.S. judge rejects Uber's driver expenses settlement
Reuters | August 2016
Uber’s Worst Nightmare
San Francisco Magazine | May 2016
Following $100 Million Settlement, Tipping Uber Drivers is Now on the Menu
Newsweek | April 2016
Uber Agrees to Pay $100 Million to Drivers in Historic Class Action Settlement
Mother Jones | April 2016
Meet the attorney suing Uber, Lyft, GrubHub and a dozen California tech firms
LA Times | January 2016
Uber's Least Favorite Lawyer Strikes Again
The Recorder | January 2016
Uber sued by drivers excluded from class-action lawsuit
LA Times | January 2016
Year in Preview: What the Uber Lawsuit Means for Workers in the Sharing Economy
SF Weekly | December 2015
Meet Sledgehammer Shannon, the Lawyer Who Is Uber’s Worst Nightmare
Mother Jones | December 2015
That Little Lawsuit Against Uber Just Got Bigger
Vice News | December 2015
The biggest legal threat to Uber’s business just got a whole lot bigger
Quartz | December 2015
Uber Drivers Suit Granted Class-Action Status
The Wall Street Journal | September 2015
A Federal Judge Just Shredded Uber's Arguments Against a Major Class-Action Lawsuit
Slate | September 2015
California Court Gets One Step Closer to Deciding Uber's Fate
Time | August 2015
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
The 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
The 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