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United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
November 5, 2021, Decided
Nos. 20-1373, 20-1379, Nos. 20-1544, 20-1549, 20-1567
[*246] KAYATTA, Circuit Judge. Plaintiffs are Massachusetts-based rideshare [**2] drivers who use the Lyft application and platform to find passengers. Plaintiffs claim that Lyft misclassifies them as independent contractors, rather than employees. They seek relief on their own behalf and on behalf of other drivers who worked for Lyft in Massachusetts, although a class has not been certified.
The parties joined issue in a flurry of motions leading to rulings concerning plaintiffs' requests for preliminary injunctive relief and Lyft's request to compel arbitration. Lyft now presses an interlocutory appeal from the denial of its motion to compel arbitration, while plaintiffs press interlocutory cross-appeals from the denial of requests for preliminary injunctive relief, including a so-called "public injunction."2 For the following reasons, we reverse [*247] the order denying Lyft's motion to compel arbitration, and affirm the denials of preliminary injunctive relief.
Lyft, Inc., a ridesharing company, uses a smartphone application to allow customers to hail drivers. Cunningham v. Lyft, 450 F. Supp. 3d 37, 39 (D. Mass. 2020). In order to work for Lyft as a driver, "an individual must register, download the application, and agree to Lyft's Terms of Service." Id. The Terms of Service spell out how a driver qualifies to use the platform [**3] to connect with riders and how fares are set, collected, and apportioned. See Cunningham v. Lyft, Inc., No. 1:19-cv-11974-IT, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90333, 2020 WL 2616302, at *6 (D. Mass. May 22, 2020).
Lyft considers its drivers "independent contractors" and does not provide them with sick leave benefits. Id. Although drivers may drive as much or as little as they want, and may also reject ride requests, Lyft retains the right to deactivate drivers who violate the Terms of Service or fall below Lyft's "star rating or cancellation threshold." Id.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
17 F.4th 244 *; 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 33010 **
MELODY CUNNINGHAM, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated; FRUNWI MANCHO, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, Appellees/Cross-Appellants, MARTIN EL KOUSSA, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated; VLADIMIR LEONIDAS, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. LYFT, INC.; LOGAN GREEN; JOHN ZIMMER, Defendants, Appellants/Cross-Appellees.MELODY CUNNINGHAM, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated; FRUNWI MANCHO, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated; MARTIN EL KOUSSA, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated; VLADIMIR LEONIDAS, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, Appellees/Cross-Appellants, v. LYFT, INC.; LOGAN GREEN; JOHN ZIMMER, Defendants, Appellants/Cross-Appellees.
Subsequent History: As Amended November 19, 2021.
Prior History: [**1] APPEALS FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS. Hon. Indira Talwani, U.S. District Judge.
Cunningham v. Lyft, Inc., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90333 (D. Mass., May 22, 2020)Cunningham v. Lyft, Inc., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48037, 2020 WL 1323103 (D. Mass., Mar. 20, 2020)Cunningham v. Lyft, Inc., 450 F. Supp. 3d 37, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53653, 2020 WL 1503220 (D. Mass., Mar. 27, 2020)
drivers, arbitration, interstate commerce, passengers, transportation, interstate, state line, trips, rides, scenario, Airport, railroads, platform, station, plaintiffs', exemption, journey, district court, airlines, driving, irreparable harm, employees, rideshare, taxicab, travel, preliminary injunction, employment contract, interstate transit, injunctive relief, injunction
Business & Corporate Compliance, Pretrial Matters, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Judicial Review, Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Arbitration, Federal Arbitration Act, Arbitration Agreements, Scope, Admiralty & Maritime Law, Federal Arbitration Act, Labor & Employment Law, Conditions & Terms, Arbitration Provisions, Enforcement, Interstate Commerce, Transportation Law, Interstate Commerce, Antitrust & Trade Law, Sherman Act, Claims, Regulated Practices, Private Actions, Sherman Act, Arbitrability, Remedies, Injunctions, Preliminary & Temporary Injunctions