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Uber: White House Gig Worker Rule Won’t Impact Us

car with Uber sticker

Uber says a proposed Biden administration rule change for gig workers will not affect its operations.

The Department of Labor’s proposal makes it tougher for companies to classify workers as independent contractors, and provides greater legal protections and added benefits for gig workers are “economically dependent” on a company.

A Tuesday (Jan. 9) report by Reuters said the proposal will likely face legal challenges. Uber, however, says the rule does not “materially change the law” under which it operates and won’t change the classification of its freelance workers.

“Drivers across the country have made it overwhelmingly clear — in their comments on this rule and in survey after survey — that they do not want to lose the unique independence they enjoy,” the company said in a Tuesday statement. “As this rule is implemented, we look forward to working with the Biden administration and making sure they continue to hear directly from drivers.”

The company added that Labor Department officials have stressed that the rule is designed to address misclassification of employees of traditional industries, “and that it is unlikely to result in any large-scale classification changes.”

The news comes weeks after European Union (EU) member states turned down a provisional deal designed to reclassify millions of gig workers as employees.

Officials in Spain, the current holder of the EU’s presidency, called for further negotiations with the European Parliament after determining the deal did not have sufficient support. The provisional agreement would have forced ride-hailing and food-delivery platforms like Uber and Deliveroo to grant full employment status to roughly 5.5 million workers.

“However, concerns about the potential economic impact of the deal led EU member states to reject it, estimating it could cost the gig economy industry billions of euros annually,” PYMNTS wrote. Spain said it was still committed to “defending an ambitious directive that improves the situation of digital platform workers.”

Last month also saw Uber and other ride-hailing companies agree to give drivers in France a raise. That deal means that workers are now eligible for 9 euros per trip — up from 7.65 euros — and can enjoy a guaranteed income of at least 30 euros per hour and 1 euro per kilometer.