Judge orders Uber, Lyft to classify drivers as employees
A judge in California told Uber and Lyft to reclassify their drivers from independent contractors to employees.
Bobby Allyn reported the news for NPR:
A California judge has ordered Uber and Lyft to reclassify their workers from independent contractors to employees with benefits, a ruling that could be consequential for gig economy workers if it survives the appeals process.
Superior Court Judge Ethan Schulman ruled Monday that Lyft and Uber’s thousands of contract drivers should be given the same protections and benefits under labor law as other full-time employees of the ride-hailing companies.
The Wall Street Journal’s Sarah E. Needleman wrote:
California sued the companies in May in California Superior Court, saying the decision to classify drivers as contractors had deprived them of rights such as paid sick leave and unemployment insurance. Uber and Lyft have asserted that the law could take away flexibility for drivers and force them to work prescheduled shifts.
Uber and Lyft, both based in San Francisco, said they plan to appeal.
Jay Peters and Andrew J. Hawkins from The Verge noted:
“It’s this simple,” California Superior Court Judge Ethan Schulman wrote in his ruling, “Defendants’ drivers do not perform work that is ‘outside the usual course’ of their business. Defendants’ insistence that their businesses are ‘multi-sided platforms’ rather than transportation companies is flatly inconsistent with the statutory provisions that govern their businesses as transportation network companies, which are defined as companies that ‘engage in the transportation of persons by motor vehicle for compensation.’”