Court: Uber Would Owe Drivers $852 Million More As Tipped Employees

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How much is at stake in the choice of ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft to keep their drivers as independent contractors instead of making them employees? To understand why the car-summoning app is glad to pay drivers as much as $100 million in a class action settlement, look at the numbers: the company calculates that it would owe drivers $429 million, while drivers’ attorneys estimate that drivers would receive $730 million in expenses, and $122 million in tips.

Those figures aren’t nationwide: they include only drivers in California and Massachusetts who are part of the class action, which would make the actual national figure a bit mind-boggling. The actual numbers were redacted from the original documents made public, but the judge ordered that they be made public as the case, which was originally filed in 2013, comes closer to a settlement.

The final decision in this lawsuit won’t come until a separate decision comes on the validity of Uber’s mandatory binding arbitration clause in driver contracts: if drivers do have the right to sue the company, the final figure will include every driver working for the company. If the court finds that they don’t, then only drivers who didn’t sign the revised contract will be included.

Uber drivers, if employees, owed $730 million more: U.S. court papers [Reuters]

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