Paycheck lawyer is your source for updates to overtime laws in your state and at the Federal level. We keep you informed on the ongoing unpaid overtime class actions and are always searching for unpaid overtime news and alerts that may be of interest to our followers. Uber, the new interesting concept in drivers continues to be faced with class action overtime lawsuits.
An Uber class action law suit is now in federal court in Trenton, N.J. The lawsuit was originally filed by former Uber driver, Jaswinder Singh, in Monmouth County Superior Court on April 22nd and was moved to U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on May 27th. The suit claims Uber violated the New Jersey Wage and Hour Law and the New Jersey Wage Payment Law because the failed to pay overtime to drivers working more than 40 hours per week. Uber drivers in New Jersey and other states are currently classified as “independent contractors” under their contracts, meaning Uber has no legal obligation to pay the requested overtime wages. The Uber drivers in New Jersey are claiming they are eligible employees because they “completely relied on Uber for driving assignments” and did not have the independence to make important decisions.
Uber has faced a series of wage claim lawsuits. The first major case, O’Connor v. Uber Technologies, Inc., involved California and Massachusetts Uber drivers, similarly claiming they were wrongly categorized as independent contractors. That case was settled in April 2016. It left the independent contractor question unresolved. Uber drivers in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Texas have filed similar lawsuits.
Will these cases go to trial? If so, courts may have the opportunity to finally determine the employment status of Uber drivers. A designation of employee could result in overtime wages along with other legal protections offered exclusively to employees.
If courts do categorize the drivers as employees, how will it affect the Uber experience? Much of Uber’s success lies in its business structure. Designating drivers as independent contractors reduces or eliminates many expenses for the company and it allows for greater freedom for drivers. Will Uber have to make drivers employees?This will certainly change the internal structure of Uber,
Will Uber be able to continue settling these lawsuits? The large $100 million settlement has clearly attracted drivers in other states. We will soon see if Uber continues to settle these cases as a cost of doing business or if/when it will risk going to trial to decide the employee designation dispute. In December, 2015, The Wall Street Journal predicted the value of Uber could exceed $60 billion, so paying settlement claims to quiet disgruntled workers seems to be a viable option, at least for now.
If you are an Uber driver and would like to represent Uber Drivers in a class action lawsuit or wish to join one of the ongoing class action lawsuits contact paycheck lawyer.