Case against Uber could have widespread impact

Federal judge allows drivers’ suit against ridesharing company to be a class-action case.

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A federal judge has allowed Uber drivers’ suit against the ridesharing company to move forward as a class-action case.

Uber’s attorneys had argued that the drivers’ individual cases were too different to be allowed to proceed together.

The status would raise the number of plaintiffs in the Uber trial to 160,000, representing the total number of drivers in California. In the ruling, the class is defined as “UberBlack, UberX, and UberSUV drivers who have driven for Uber in the state of California at any time since August 16, 2009.”

An Uber spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the company has previously suggested that it will appeal a class-action certification and that it will take the issue to trial.

(SOURCE: San Francisco Business Times)

The outcome of this case could have widespread impact on the new sharing economy.

Any ruling in this case could affect other companies in the sharing economy, like Airbnb, TaskRabbit and Lyft, an Uber competitor, says Stanford law professor Bill Gould.

The sharing sector is “where this question of misclassification of employees into independent contractor status is arising with increasing frequency,” he says.


This case is unlikely to be resolved by the end of Uber’s extended pilot period in Portland.

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