Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Lyft
Like antecedent agnate cases, the plaintiffs actuality allege the ride-hailing aggregation of clumsily advantageous them, and misclassifying them as contractors, rather than employees. By classifying the aggregate of its workforce as contractors, Lyft and added companies like it, are about absolutely extenuative millions of dollars per year in costs that they would contrarily accept to pay, including drivers’ health, retirement, unemployment, or added allowances that about appear with full-time employment.
The Massachusetts case, Wickberg v. Lyft, was brought beforehand this ages by a Boston-based attorney, Shannon Liss-Riordan, who has fabricated a name for herself bringing agnate activity lawsuits adjoin gig abridgement startups in contempo years.
She absent a key lawsuit, O’Connor v. Uber, at the 9th US Circuit Cloister of Appeals in backward September 2018. In that case, the appellate cloister begin that because Uber drivers had agreed that all disputes would be handled by clandestine adjudication rather than accessible litigation, the board didn’t accept to alike ability the architect against agent question.
But what’s altered in Wickberg is that this disciplinarian absolutely autonomous out of this adjudication article of his assignment agreement, and so Liss-Riordan is arguing that “he can represent a chic of Lyft drivers in cloister (regardless of whether they accept alone ‘opted out’ of Lyft’s adjudication clause.)”
Meanwhile, beyond the country, plaintiff’s attorneys in Whitson v. Lyft, accomplish a actual agnate altercation on account of a disciplinarian who had additionally autonomous out.
There, the Golden State’s accomplished cloister came up with a three-part analysis to actuate whether addition is in actuality and employee, or a contractor.
(A) that the artisan is chargeless from the ascendancy and administration of the hiring article in affiliation with the achievement of the work, both beneath the arrangement for the achievement of the assignment and in fact, (B) that the artisan performs assignment that is alfresco the accepted advance of the hiring entity’s business, and (C) that the artisan is commonly affianced in an apart accustomed trade, occupation, or business, the artisan should be advised an agent and the hiring business an employer beneath the ache or admittance to assignment accepted in allowance orders.
Because of this precedent, Veena Dubal, a law assistant at the University of California, Hastings, told Ars that Whitson, as a case, “seems strong,” but appropriate that the brace of cases accept a continued way to go.
“Both cases accommodate advance plaintiffs who accept autonomous out of the binding adjudication agreement,” she emailed. “The achievement is to anatomy a ample chic of drivers who accept autonomous out of the adjudication agreement. If the chic is ample abundant in either case and the plaintiffs win, again it ability appulse Lyft’s business model.”
As Ars appear previously, for months now, companies including Lyft have lobbied lawmakers in Sacramento to abstract new legislation that would finer annul the Dynamex standard.
Meanwhile, on the federal level, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has introduced a bill that would codify Dynamex. That bill has, in turn, been opposed by the US Chamber of Commerce.
Lyft did not acknowledge to Ars’ appeal for comment.
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