The California Labor Commission ruled that Uber drivers are employees and not independent contractors, clarifying the status of ride-sharing drivers. Uber filed an appeal with the California Superior Court.
“The Superior Court will be able to make its own independent determination,” said Jim Evans, partner in Alston & Bird’s Labor and Employment Group. “It offers a preview as to how a court might rule on it.”
A favorable ruling for drivers in the Uber matter and in another case involving Lyft — both of which are awaiting jury trial in California — could spark more class action lawsuits against ride-sharing companies, Evans said.
Evans said Uber also has strong arguments to support the view that its drivers are independent contractors, including the fact that they have no uniforms and are free to decide when and for how long to drive.
“It’s far from clear-cut,” he said.