In two separate class action lawsuits, drivers for Uber and Lyft are seeking to be classified as employees instead of independent contractors. The plaintiffs of both cases are hoping to be reimbursed for expenses such as gas and car maintenance. If the drivers are successful, they would also get benefits and protection in the form of worker’s compensation, payroll taxes, health care, social security taxes, and unemployment insurance.
Because drivers are told how much they can charge per ride, and hey risk being fired if they don’t obey the rules, they feel that they should be considered employees. In addition, if a driver gets injured while working, neither Uber or Lyft has to assume any liability.
Uber and Lyft feel differently, however. They argue that their drivers have many liberties that traditional employees do not. For example, drivers have the ability to work as many hours as they want, whenever and where they want, making this type of employment ideal for those seeking flexibility to pursue other endeavors.
The outcome of these cases would not only have an impact on the ride sharing marketplace but also companies such as TaskRabbit and Airbnb.
Do you think Uber and Lyft drivers should be considered independent contractors or employees?
*image by Flickr
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