Uber Must Face Driver Class Action

Uber must face class action claims by drivers that they want to be considered employees, rather than independent contractors, a federal appeals held earlier this week.

Uber’s request to immediately appeal an order granting class status to thousands of Uber drivers was rejected by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday.

This means the battle over worker status is likely headed for a June 2016 trial.

In a one-page order, the appeals court denied the request to challenge the class certification order by U.S. District Judge Edward Chen, issued earlier this year.

The drivers sued in 2013 contending they are employees entitled to wages and reimbursement for expenses such as gas and vehicle repairs, which they currently pay themselves.

Uber has argued that it is basically a software company, not a taxi service.  It offers an application, or app, to people seeking rides and nearby drivers willing to pick up riders. Uber collects the fees electronically via credit cards and pays the drivers a share.

Uber has been hit with a variety of legal challenges.  In a separate state court suit, for example, Uber is challenging a state Labor Commissioner ruling that a single driver won declaring that she was an employee, not an independent contractor.  The ruling has no precedential effect on the federal case, but marks a direction the cases have been going for Uber.

Case: O’Connor v. Uber Technologies, No. 13-3826

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