Economy

Uber Drivers Are Not Employees Under Federal Law, Judge Rules

Uber Drivers Are Not Employees Under Federal Law, Judge Rules

Uber managed to score a victory this week in the ongoing debate over whether or not the ride-sharing company's drivers are independent contractors or employees.

US District Judge Michael Baylson, sitting in Philadelphia, rejected calls from drivers for UberBlack, the company's limo division, to be treated as employees with all of the perks that go with.

A federal ruling on the crapsicab service's drivers, the first of its kind, showed that Uber does not, in the opinion of the court, exert enough control over drivers for them to be considered employees. Uber has always maintained its drivers work on the their own time and qualify as independent contractors, or freelancers. In making their arguments, Uber portrayed the plaintiffs " as entrepreneurial business-owners who use UberBlack as a means of acquiring trip requests, with their primary competition coming from other Limousine-for-hire companies".

Uber places no restrictions on drivers' ability to engage in personal activities while Online, and Plaintiffs here, in fact, engaged in a range of personal activities while Online.

The ruling comes as courts across the country are grappling with how to apply traditional business and legal concepts to the emerging gig economy.

Jeremy Abay, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said he would appeal the ruling to the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

"We have consistently stated throughout this case that employment status is not an issue that is properly determined by summary judgment, and we expect the Third Circuit to agree with us", he said.

"We are continuing to monitor the accounts that were affected - however, there has been no indication of fraud or misuse of information connected to this incident", the company said in a statement that it sent to Folha.

The plaintiffs in the matter were three drivers for UberBLACK, the company's limousine service, who brought claims for violations of the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the FLSA and comparable state legislation.

The FTC said Uber in November 2016 learned that intruders had again accessed consumer data the company stored on its third-party cloud provider's servers but did not disclose the incident for a year.


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