Attorneys: Lyft Would Owe Drivers An Extra $126M If They Were Employees

Image courtesy of (Σπύρος Βάθης)

In a class action against the company, drivers for ride-hailing service Lyft won two important things: the right to not be removed from the service without being told why, and a $12.25 million settlement. The interesting thing about that figure, though, is that the lawyers’ own research shows that being given “employee” status would mean that drivers were owed an average of $835 each, or a total of $126 million for just the employees in California.

That figure isn’t entirely fair, since a workforce of drivers who were employees would likely be smaller, and might have vehicles owned and maintained by their employer. While the judge asked the drivers’ attorneys to make these calculations, they don’t necessarily reflect what Lyft’s workforce or their paychecks would look like if the service had made them employees instead of independent contractors.

While $835 is the average number, while some drivers worked for thousands of hours during the covered period, some worked only a few. Just under two-thirds of the drivers worked 60 or fewer hours during the four-year period that the lawsuit covers.

The company has also grown significantly since the lawsuit started, doubling the attorneys’ early estimate of what the theoretical additional cost w9uld have been.

Lyft and its peers claim that the majority of their drivers prefer to work on an independet contractor basis, which lets them log in and out of the app and work when they feel like it instead of having scheduled shifts.

Exclusive: Lyft drivers, if employees, owed millions more – [Reuters]