Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Seattle’s Uber Drivers Union

Image courtesy of afagen

Late last year, Seattle made it legal for drivers who work for ride-hailing services to organize in unions, even though this is technically against federal labor law. While that question still has to be resolved, and the law hasn’t actually gone into effect yet, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sued the city to suspend it.

The ability to file a civil lawsuit depends on whether the plaintiff has “standing,” or whether the matter at hand actually affects the plaintiff. For example, you couldn’t sue Chipotle over their food safety problems if you never ate there and aren’t a Chipotle investor.

A federal judge ignored the question of whether the ride-hailing drivers union is actually legal for now, and dismissed the lawsuit based on the premise that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a group that lobbies for causes that are broadly “pro-business,” has no standing in this case.

Since the law doesn’t affect the group or any of its members, since it hasn’t actually gone into effect and affected anyone yet. “Neither of the Chambers’ members has suffered an injury that is traceable to the Ordinance and would be redressed if the Ordinance were declared invalid or enforcement were otherwise enjoined,” the judge noted in his decision.

The Chamber argued that Uber is one of the more than 3 million businesses that are members. The group is hopeful, though, that the same judge would block the law once it’s closer to becoming an actual thing.

“While the judge held that it is too early to decide this case, he made clear at oral argument that he stands ready to hear a challenge to Seattle’s unprecedented ordinance in the future,” the Chamber said. That could come from the Chamber of Commerce or from another interested party.

U.S. judge dismisses challenge to Seattle’s Uber, Lyft union law [Reuters]