USA: Uber settles drivers’ classification lawsuit for $20 million but drivers remain independent contractors

Author: Kate Conger, New York Times (USA), Published on: 15 March 2019

"Uber Settles Drivers’ Lawsuit for $20 Million", 12 Mar 2019

Uber on Monday settled a long-running legal battle with drivers in California and Massachusetts who wanted the ride-hailing company to recognize them as employees, agreeing to pay the drivers $20 million but not changing their status as independent contractors.

As part of the settlement, Uber said, it will also change the way it removes drivers from the service by making the process more transparent. It published a policy that describes how it deactivates drivers and said it would institute an appeals mechanism, as well as classes to teach drivers how to improve ride quality...

In a statement, an Uber spokesman said the company had “changed a lot” since the lawsuit was filed in 2013. He added, “We’re pleased to reach a settlement on this matter, and we’ll continue working hard to improve the quality, security and dignity of independent work.”...

How its drivers are classified has long been a point of contention for the San Francisco-based company. As independent contractors, drivers do not get health care or other benefits from Uber, which saves the company money. Uber has said that drivers gain other perks instead, particularly flexible schedules.

The issue has incited considerable debate and, increasingly, legal action...

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Related companies: Uber