Ride share is big right now. Uber and Lyft both have drivers all over the country, and both boast gross profits in the Billions. They also claim to be great places to work, with lots of easy money to be made. Those figures sound good rolling off the tongue, but there is a few issue’s people have working for these riding sharing companies especially Uber. The main problem Uber drivers are having with the company is that they are not actual employees. Uber considers them independent contractors and as such there is certain cost; Uber is not required to pay on their behalf. This cost includes car maintenance, Social Security, and unemployment benefits. This sounds a bit harsh, but Uber says this is how they stay profitable and if this were to change it would be hard to sustain their current growth.
It seems not everyone feels the same way about Uber’s so-called flexibility. Three Uber drivers from the San Francisco area have filed a lawsuit against the ride-sharing company. These three drivers say they should be reimbursed for things such as gas, vehicle maintenance, and other expense. The three say right now they are paying for all these things out of pocket. They also are asking that this lawsuit proceed as a class action lawsuit, which is something Uber is desperately fighting. Uber attorney Theodore Boutrous is doing his best to convince U.S. District Judge Edward Chen that making this lawsuit a class action lawsuit would set a risky precedent. So in other words Theodore Boutrous believes that if this makes it to class action lawsuit status, it would cover over 160,000 drivers in California alone, and eventually Uber would lose millions in a long settlement.
Uber might be fighting a losing battle in this case as a California labor commissioner has already ruled that a Uber driver was an employee and not independent. Uber says that if this lawsuit can go class action it “could force Uber to restructure its entire business model.” That might be true for Uber, but this ruling will do much more than that, with lawsuits pending already against Lyft, and other’s this could be a game changer. This case could and probably will change the landscape of car for hire services and business like it all over the U.S. and the Global