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Uber Drivers: Employees or Independent Contractors?

On September 1, 2015, California Uber drivers were granted class action status in a lawsuit demanding that they be treated as employees instead of independent contractors, as well as seeking mileage and tip reimbursement. Uber filed an appeal on September 15. The battle over classification of Uber drivers is ongoing. The California Employment Development Department (EDD) earlier ruled that a former California Uber driver was indeed an employee, entitling him to unemployment benefits. That decision was upheld twice on appeal and the case finally came to a close in September.

Independent Contractor Misclassification

There have been many cases against Uber, claiming independent contractor misclassification, across the country. Uber has won some and lost some. Some Uber drivers say they prefer independent contractor status because of the freedom it gives them, but others say that Uber has too much control for the relationship to qualify as an independent contractor setup and, therefore, they should receive the benefits and protections of being employees.

If the class action suit goes forward, it will only apply to California drivers, but it could set a precedent that would influence the outcome of similar cases against Uber, and companies with similar business models, across the country.

If you believe that you have been misclassified as an independent contractor when you should be considered an employee entitled to employee compensation and benefits, the New Jersey employment attorneys of Lenzo & Reis, LLC, may be able to help. We represent clients throughout New Jersey in all types of employment related matters. Please call us today at (973) 845-9922 or email us for a free case evaluation.

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