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Uber drivers in California and Massachusetts have worked out a potential settlement with Uber, the alternative taxi service, based on their assertion that they should have been classified as employees rather than contractors. As employees, the drivers would have been entitled to reimbursements of expenses such as their vehicle maintenance and gas which, over the past seven years would have resulted in an estimated $730 million. As contractors, the drivers have footed those bills themselves.
Potential damages are calculated by the parties between $429 million and $852 million, depending on the rates set for mileage reimbursement, which includes recovery for tips.
The original settlement deal that was proposed last month was unsealed recently by a San Francisco federal judge. Under the proposed $100 million settlement, Uber drivers will still be classified as contractors. However, the settlement offers new policies to the drivers, including an appeals process for those who are terminated, provides nice-sized awards to the drivers, and removes the significant risks that they face if the case goes to trial.
The judge posed various questions to the parties about the potential settlement, and will decide if the $100 million Uber settlement is fair.
Lexis subscribers can access the opinion at: O'Connor v. Uber Techs., Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64347 (N.D. Cal. May 13, 2016).Lexis Advance subscribers can find the opinion at: O'Connor v. Uber Techs., Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64347 (N.D. Cal. May 13, 2016).
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