USA: Lyft drivers argue proposed $27 million settlement is insufficient & does not address employment status of drivers

Author: Paresh Dave, Los Angeles Times, Published on: 2 November 2016

"Union-backed Lyft drivers object to $27-million settlement", 1 Nov 2016

A handful of California Lyft drivers and a Teamsters-backed drivers’ alliance are seeking to squash a proposed $27-million settlement in a lawsuit against the ride-hailing app company.The objectors have written to U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria in recent days, saying the payout and contractual concessions to drivers are insufficient. They also expressed concern that the deal doesn’t address the most important issue: whether drivers for ride-hailing companies such as Lyft and Uber should remain independent contractors or be treated as employees, eligible for healthcare benefits and paid time off, among other provisions...That classification of app-centric workers has led to several legal battles across the country, including the 2013 class-action case against Lyft in Chhabria’s San Francisco courtroom. An estimated 100,000 drivers could be eligible for a portion of the $27 million based on how much they drove. About 40,000 drivers already have filed claims, according to Shannon Liss-Riordan, the lawyer representing the class. She said Tuesday that worker classification remains highly contested and the settlement represents the best achievable outcome at this time. “We’re doing what we can do to advance the workers’ rights,” she said. “Nothing about this settlement is a statement that the drivers are properly classified.”

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Related companies: Lyft Uber