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United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
August 20, 2021, Decided; August 20, 2021, Filed
OPINION AND ORDER
VALERIE CAPRONI, United States District Judge:
Plaintiffs Sancak Davarci and Joseph Chambers work in New York State as drivers for the rideshare company Uber Technologies, Inc. ("Uber"). In November 2020, Plaintiffs, individually and on behalf of a class of all others who work or have worked as Uber drivers in New York, sued Uber alleging that Uber misclassifies its drivers as independent contractors instead of employees. As a result, Uber has, according to Plaintiffs, violated the New York Labor Law ("NYLL").
On December 11, 2020, Uber filed a motion pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA"), 9 U.S.C. § 1 et seq., to compel individual arbitration of Plaintiffs' claims and to strike [*2] Plaintiffs' class allegations. See Notice of Mot., Dkt. 13.1 Plaintiffs have opposed Uber's motion.2 The critical issue in dispute is whether Uber drivers fall under the exemption to the FAA for employment contracts of workers "engaged in foreign or interstate commerce."3 9 U.S.C. § 1. As the so-called gig economy has exploded in recent years, a growing number of courts has considered this precise issue. A consensus has seemingly begun to develop that rideshare drivers are not exempt from the FAA, although recently a handful of courts have disagreed.
For the reasons set forth below, the Court agrees with the majority of courts to consider this issue: Uber drivers, as a class, are not engaged in interstate commerce and their employment contracts are, therefore, not exempted from the FAA by Section 1's residual clause. Accordingly, Uber's motion to compel arbitration is GRANTED, and this case is STAYED pending arbitration.
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2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157948 *; 2021 WL 3721374
SANCAK DAVARCI and JOSEPH CHAMBERS, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, -against- UBER TECHNOLOGIES, INC., Defendant.
Subsequent History: Motion denied by Davarci v. Uber Techs., 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 222433 (S.D.N.Y., Nov. 15, 2021)
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Business & Corporate Compliance, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration, Arbitrability, Federal Arbitration Act, Arbitration Agreements, Scope, Orders to Compel Arbitration, Civil Procedure, Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Appropriateness, Judgments, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Genuine Disputes, Legal Entitlement, Contracts Law, Contract Conditions & Provisions, Arbitration Clauses, Governments, Legislation, Interpretation