Uber Fights To Keep Employees As Contractors

Uber has filed a briefing in court questioning the validity of a class-action lawsuit filed by drivers to reclassify themselves as Uber employees and not independent contractors.

The motion comes after the California Labor Commission declared last month that at least one Uber driver was an employee and not an independent contractor in a court case filed against the company, TechCrunch reported.

After losing key motions in the lawsuit, the company blamed the out dated laws governing the 1099 business model. Two of the judges reviewing the class action lawsuit against Uber and its competitor Lyft seemed to agree.

Uber sees a fundamental problem with the class-action lawsuit, as it does not represent the majority of its drivers or the very nature of its business model.

“We have driver after driver explaining their unique circumstances, why freedom and autonomy are so important to them in their own words, in sworn testimony. All of that goes right to the heart of our argument why this can’t be a class because for there to be a class everyone must be similarly situated, they must have suffered the same injuries, allegedly. That is the opposite of what we have here,” Uber’s lawyer from Gibson Dunn Ted Boutrous, Jr. told TechCrunch.

The company has presented “overwhelming” evidence in its briefing, which demonstrates that the plaintiffs’ efforts to certify a sweeping class action must be rejected, according to a statement.

“Decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit, and other courts make clear that a class cannot be certified here. And the mountain of evidence submitted with the court—including the expert report of Berkeley Professor Justin McCrary and declarations of over 400 drivers from across California—proves that these three plaintiffs do not and cannot represent the interests of the thousands of other drivers who value the complete flexibility and autonomy they enjoy as independent contractors. The plaintiffs’ legal theory in this case presents highly individualized issues that preclude class certification,” the statement read.

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