CHICAGO — Ride-hailing company Uber faces a new nationwide class action wage lawsuit
A new lawsuit filed in Illinois claims the company illegally classifies its drivers as independent contractors and denies them overtime wages and tips in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The plaintiffs filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on behalf of all Uber drivers outside of California and Massachusetts.
The complaint includes claims for improper classification under the FLSA, failure to compensate for off-the-clock work, lost and “stolen” gratuities, and unjust enrichment.
Uber recently announced a proposed $100 million settlement agreement with drivers in California and Massachusetts that would permit the drivers to solicit tips from riders, the plaintiffs here stated that the settlement offered no relief to drivers in 48 states and dodged the independent contractor issue.
The settlement agreement with drivers in California and Massachusetts has been criticized as lacking the required clarity that would prevent Uber from continuing to classify its drivers as independent contractors instead of formal employees.
Uber continues to promote its nontraditional business model as a benefit to drivers who value their independence. The court still has to approve the proposed settlement, and several drivers have already filed objections.
The settlement will also permit drivers to fail to accept new fares without fear of being banned by the company, and will allow them to form an association.
Uber’s Daily Management of Drivers
The plaintiffs in this case state that Uber should not be allowed to hide behind the independent contractor designation because it actively micro-manages all aspects of its drivers’ professional lives in ways that should designate it as a traditional employer.
The lawsuit specifically notes that Uber tells the drivers what price to use, pays the driver directly from fares collected from the customer, makes direct deposits in the drivers’ bank accounts, provides the drivers with a pay statement, monitors the drivers’ number of trips and hours on line and tracks their acceptance rate and driver rating.
Although Uber drivers use their own cars, Uber still has to approve the vehicles, and the drivers are required to sign agreements with the company that direct and define their duties, responsibilities, and other employment-related issues.
If you or someone you know is misclassified as exempt and therefore not paid overtime as required by FLSA, you should call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page.
Our top rated team of wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action. We will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. There are strict time limitations for filing so it is important that you call our experienced attorneys today.