Final Decision In Uber Driver Class Action Won’t Come Until Appeals Court Decides On Arbitration

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The trial in the case of California Uber drivers against the ride-hailing app is still going forward, scheduled for June 20, 2016. However, a few weeks ago, the judge allowed all of the drivers taking part to sue for mileage and phone bill reimbursement. Uber is appealing that ruling, and the appeal may not be resolved before the trial. This week, the judge ruled that he won’t make a final ruling until that case is resolved.

If this sounds like a lot of legal nitpicking, it certainly isn’t that way for Uber. The question of whether all of the plaintiffs in the class action can sue for vehicle and phone expenses instead of just the right to collect tips from passengers could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Uber if the class of drivers wins. Drivers could receive up to 57.5¢ for every mile that they’ve driven passengers while using the app.

Judge Edward Chen decided to add all drivers in California to the class action instead of only drivers who had signed up before the company included a mandatory arbitration section in its contract. Now an appeals court will look into the question of whether it’s legal for a company to require its independent contractors to waive arbitration at all, and the judge’s final decision won’t come out until that question is resolved.

Uber Judge Puts Brakes on California Drivers’ Suit Outcome [Bloomberg]

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