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Uber Controversial Pricing Model Lawsuit

Drivers Urge Judge to Hear Case on Uber’s Controversial Pricing Model

July 6, 2017

In a class action suit currently before a California federal court, a group of plaintiffs urged the judge to reject Uber’s attempt to dismiss a suit currently pending against the company for its allegedly unfair pricing model. Uber has argued that the plaintiffs’ case is fundamentally invalid; the plaintiffs insist in no uncertain terms that their case is clear.

In Uber’s “upfront pricing model,” passengers are charged before their ride actually begins. Those charges are determined by what plaintiffs allege to be inflated projections of the time and distance of the actual ride. Drivers receive a portion of the fare, but that portion is calculated by reference to the time and distance actually driven. The discrepancy between the two methods of pricing is at the heart of the suit, which alleges that Uber pockets money that should go to drivers.

Arguments on both sides were heated.

The California suit is one of many Uber currently faces. The ride-hailing company has been taken to task by numerous state and local governments for reasons including unfair compensation, sexual harassment, and regulatory issues.

If you believe you’ve been treated unfairly by Uber or another ride-hailing company, or if you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident that involved an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare vehicle, you may have a case. Contact the expert attorneys at TheLawFirm.com to learn how we can help you.

Uber Arbitration Misled Workers

June 15, 2017
A judge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled that Uber must rescind or revise a dispute resolution that the company reached with its software engineers. According to the judge, the agreement does not clearly inform employees of their right to file unfair labor charges.

Judge Mara-Louise Anzalone ruled that the dispute resolution wrongfully misleads Uber software engineers to believe that they are unable to file charges with the NLRB, though in fact they legally entitled to do so. At issue was the “legal jargon” in the agreement, which rendered this point particularly unclear.

Uber, the app-based ride-sharing company, has run into a number of legal difficulties at the state and federal level. In particular, numerous cases have been filed pertaining to the company’s unfair treatment and/or classification of its drivers as contractors rather than as employees who are entitled to benefits. The NLRB case presents another angle on Uber’s troubled relationship with its employees.

If you believe you’ve been treated unjustly by Uber, contact TheLawFirm.com.

NY Uber Drivers Entitled to Employee Status

Update June 15, 2017
Troubled ride-sharing giant Uber has experienced more than its share of legal difficulties in state and federal court. Now, a court in New York has delivered a potentially serious blow to Uber’s firmly held contention that its drivers are not employees but independent contractors.

A judge in New York state’s labor department has ruled that Uber drivers are entitled to receive employee benefits, despite the company’s claim that, since they set their own schedules and were not required to report absences, the company’s drivers are actually contractors.

Companies are not legally obligated to pay employee benefits to independent contractors.

Judge Michelle Burrowes argued that Uber had “exercised sufficient supervision, direction and control” over their drivers for the drivers to be considered, in the eyes of the laws of the state of New York, employees proper. Burrowes cited the company’s requirement that drivers accept at least 90 percent of ride requests.

The case could have ramifications not only for Uber’s bottom line, but for how the company is viewed by regulatory agencies in all of the states in which it operates.

If you’ve run into legal difficulties with Uber or other ride-sharing services, contact TheLawFirm.com. We can help.

June 1, 2017
On May 30, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) dealt a second blow to a group of Florida drivers who had hoped to consolidate their cases against ride-hailing giant Uber. The JPML refused the combine three separate but related lawsuits, arguing that voluntary coordination is a better option for these cases than centralization.

The central claim of the plaintiffs was that Uber improperly classified drivers as independent contractors – rather than as employees – so that the company could unfairly reimburse the drivers for expenses and deny them the full amounts of some of the tips given by passengers to drivers.

The plaintiffs had wished to centralize putative class suits in Florida, North Carolina, and Tennessee by drivers who chose not to participate in arbitration agreements with Uber. In February 2016, the JPML denied a previous centralization motion for similar reasons: that the cases involved too many state-specific issues, and that the cases have individually reached several different procedural stages.

The JPML rejected the Florida plaintiffs’ suggestion that the panel eliminate state-specific issues by separating them from a centralized MDL and remanding them to state courts. The panel said this approach would “result in the proliferation of duplicative litigation.”

Last year, the JPML rejected a centralization request that involved a total of 17 suits. Its reasoning was that state laws vary too widely on the subject of whether independent contractors are considered employees. That single issue – whether independent contractors may legally be considered as employees – is a question that Uber and other ride-hailing companies have been tangling with for years now.

The Florida plaintiffs are not subject to the arbitration clause that Uber has fought and continues to fight in a number of courts – largely with success. A small percentage of drivers took advantage of the 30-day opt-out period in the arbitration provisions of Uber’s driver contracts.

The attorneys at TheLawFirm.com are well acquainted with the legal complexities involving ride-hailing companies, especially those involving accidents and personal injury.

If you believe you have a legal complaint against a ride-hailing company, contact us. The consultation is free, and our expert ride-hailing attorneys will help you any way they can.

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You've been in an accident - What should you do?

1. Call the Police
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5. Seek Immediate Medical Attention - If you are offered medical attention by the police, accept it - If you don’t leave the scene by ambulance, get medical attention immediately.
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7. Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
8. Be Careful Whom You Talk to   
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