Uber and Lyft have to recognize drivers as employees, not ‘independent partners’

Tram Ho

Recently, an appellate court in California has confirmed that two technology car companies Uber and Lyft must recognize the driver as an employee, not an “independent partner”.

The ruling marks an important development in the legal battle that lasted for months between the two companies and the state of California. Last May, the state government sued Uber and Lyft on charges of violating state labor laws. Accordingly, Uber and Lyft drivers must enjoy basic labor benefits such as minimum wage, overtime pay, health and social insurance.

The State of California argues that by treating drivers as “independent partners,” Uber and Lyft have stripped them of benefits they would otherwise be entitled to under state law that went into effect Jan. 1. The law also states that companies can only treat employees as “independent partners” when they are not controlled by the company and do work outside of their core business.

Uber và Lyft phải công nhận tài xế là nhân viên chứ không phải ‘đối tác độc lập’ - Ảnh 1.

In August, a California court ordered Uber and Lyft to confirm that the driver is an employee. However, both companies threatened to withdraw from the state. They later filed an appeal, but the appeals court rejected both arguments. A ban on Uber and Lyft from treating drivers as “independent partners” is completely valid, an appellate court official said.

“Uber and Lyft have used their strength to fight against treating drivers as full-time workers,” said a Justice Department official after the court ruling. “.

The regulatory change won’t happen immediately, though. Uber and Lyft still have 30 days to comply with California law after the appeals process ends. It is not clear whether the two tech companies will appeal the latest ruling to the Supreme Court of California.

“We are looking at our appeal options,” an Uber representative told CNN.

Previously, Uber, Lyft and several other driver-driven delivery services such as Uber-owned DoorDash, Instacart and Postmate poured $ 188 million into a bill.

If it passes, drivers will continue to be considered “independent partners”. However, there will be some concessions in terms of benefits such as a guaranteed minimum income based on the “time involved” when the driver delivers the passenger or delivers the goods.

In its statement, Uber said that if the measure is not passed, “tech car drivers will be prevented from continuing to work as ‘independent partners’, leaving hundreds of thousands of people. California lost its job and potentially shut down car-sharing across the state. ”

Last month, the CEOs of Uber and Lyft told the California appeals court that the company would comply with the rules if they lost the lawsuit and the bill they poured money into was not passed.

“Minimal compliance will require fundamental changes to the Uber platform. It will significantly limit the number of drivers Uber can rent,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s CEO.

Meanwhile, Lyft CEO Logan Green wrote: “Compliance is likely to stop ride-sharing in some or even across California.”

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Source : Genk