NEWARK, N.J. — Ridesharing giant Uber may be hit with yet another class action overtime pay lawsuit, this time by a former driver from New Jersey, according to multiple reports.
A New Jersey man recently filed his lawsuit in federal district court asking certification for a class of drivers across the state in the midst of other drivers in states like California, Florida, Massachusetts, and Illinois doing the same.
The plaintiff claims he regularly worked up to 60 hours per week as an UberX driver, far more than the 40-hour-week threshold for overtime pay, thus violating New Jersey state law requiring one and a half times regular pay for every hour worked over 40 hours. Furthermore, he was not reimbursed for expenses such as his cell phone, tolls, and gas, which he believes should have been repaid by Uber.
Lawsuit Seeks Change of Independent Contractor Designation
The lawsuit claims the plaintiff and other drivers were misclassified under state and federal overtime laws as independent contractors and should be compensated for their overtime pay accordingly.
The plaintiff’s attorneys claim he could not be an independent contractor because he and other drivers “were not engaged in independently established businesses” and did not “exercise of discretion or independent judgment over matters of significance.”
The distinction between regular hourly employees and independent contractors is extremely important as it is often used to separate those workers who may be entitled to overtime pay and other benefits and those who are not.
Employers trying to skirt overtime pay laws are notorious for attempting to use this and other tactics for their financial benefit while the employee forgoes all the income he or she is entitled to by state and federal overtime pay laws.
Uber estimates it currently has 15,000 drivers in New Jersey and a total of 450,000 across the entire country. The nation’s largest ride sharing company recently paid $100,000,000 to settle claims with drivers throughout California and Massachusetts over similar claims as the New Jersey plaintiff, which precluded drivers from receiving overtime pay.
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Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.