When Uber first launched and released its rideshare cars out into the streets, their drivers had little to no rights at all. Initially, drivers were not considered employees under the law; Uber drivers were classified as independent contractors, which meant their rights were very limited. And so for many years, Uber was allowed to treat their drivers mercilessly – firing them on a whim. If drivers had done nothing wrong, they typically were not allowed to pursue any charges as their employment contract was independent.
Drivers were being fired left and right, and could do very little about it. Unless Uber had somehow grossly violated their rights, drivers did not have a legal foothold to stand against the corporate force, resources, and legal counsel of Uber.
This changed when Uber drivers, after years of wrongful termination and other unlawful employment matters, banded together to file a class-action lawsuit against Uber. They argued that, in fact, they were not independent contractors but rather legitimate employees, and that Uber was exploiting them (and the law). A California ruling made by the state Supreme Court declared that Uber drivers are employees, as they perform the services that fundamentally make Uber a company.
Our lawyers at the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group are experienced employment lawyers who understand the rights of California employees, and how companies across the state attempt to exploit the employees’ labor for their own selfish profit. Our wrongful termination lawyers, our discrimination lawyers, and our harassment lawyers want to fight for your rights and stand for justice. We understand that a job is uniquely important to everyone’s life, and without a job the people who depend on you and your income will face many unjust problems. If your rights as an employee were violated, we want to make the transition as smooth as possible. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve for all of your damages, including those potential damages of the future.
So if you are or were an Uber driver whose rights were violated as a California employee, contact our California labor law employment attorneys. If you’re looking for information as to whether or not you have a case, continue reading below. We go into detail about what constitutes illegal action by Uber and when your rights were violated.
Independent Contractor vs. Employee
Once upon a time, Uber classified its drivers as intendent contractors. They did this in order to save on labor expenses which would then land directly in their own pockets. So what’s all the fuss about being classified as an independent contractor vs. employee? After all, you still get paid, right?
In general, employees are entitled to a myriad of benefits and protections under the law. They’re benefits that are guaranteed to the employee, no matter their place of employment or position. These benefits and protections are not secured if you are an independent contractor.
These protections are basic rights of employment:
- Wage hours: Rights like minimum wage, overtime, lunch breaks, and reimbursement of business expenses;
- Discrimination laws: The right to be protected from discrimination laws that still affect millions of workers every day;
- Payroll withholdings: For your federal and state taxes;
- Workers’ compensation: The right to be compensated if you’re injured at work;
- And unemployment benefits.
And so when a company does not classify their employees correctly and opts to make them independent employees, they are withholding these benefits to their workers.
The California Supreme Court Ruling
Before the historic 2018 ruling, California courts used a very flexible definition of what it meant to be an employee. The test was known as the Borello test, a multi-factored test that looked at primarily at where the company had “a right to control” the work the worker performed. It’s flexibility allowed companies to legally classify employees as independent contractors.
The new ruling did not use the Borello test. Instead, the court used a more rigid test called the “ABC” test. It’s a rigid, three-factor test. This test places the burden of proof on the employers – they must prove that their workers are not functionally employees. They must prove the following:
- A) That the worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact;
- B) that the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and
- C) that the worker is customarily engaged in an independently establish trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed.
Uber Driver Wrongful Termination
As Uber drivers are now considered employees, they are provided employee rights. This means that employers cannot fire them for an illegal reason.
Discrimination: Unfortunately, many employers continue to discriminate against their employees. Employers are not allowed to discriminate against their workers when it comes to things like: race, gender, sexual orientation, age, nationality, religion, disability, and more. Doing so violates the Civil Rights act. If you were wrongfully terminated because of discrimination, you can file a lawsuit against Uber to be compensated for the damages incurred.
Harassment: Sexual harassment is illegal. Often, when women report it, they are fired because the men who raped them get scared. Out of sight, out of mind. This malicious behavior is illegal and you are allowed to file a lawsuit against your employer. If you were wrongfully terminated because you were sexually assaulted, you contact our law firm today and we will make sure that justice is served.
Unpaid wages: If your employer does not give you your full wages, you can file a lawsuit for unpaid wages. Employees are entitled to receive full wages for their labor. Independent contractors often find it difficult to file a lawsuit against their contractor because of their legal status as an independent contractor. An experienced Los Angeles Uber wrongful termination lawyer will be able to fight for you and get you the compensation you deserve.
The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group & You
Uber has to give its drivers, like you, the benefits and protections that are given to all employees under California law. If you believe that your rights were violated, and you were wrongfully terminated, you have to give our employment law firm a call immediately.
There is a statute of limitations by which you must file a lawsuit. If you fail to file your lawsuit before the expiration of the statute of limitations, you will not have a right to pursue any damages.
The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group offers many promotions to all our clients. We offer the zero-fee guarantee, free legal consultation, and a free second opinion. If you feel like your rights were violated as an Uber driver contact our law firm today and take advantage of the many programs we offer to our clients.
The zero-fee guarantee is our guarantee to you that you will not pay us a penny until we completely settle your case, and only if we get you the compensation you deserve for your damages. If we are unable to get you compensation, you will not pay for our legal services because we do not feel it is right to charge our clients who seek restitution.
Free legal consultation is a resource that was created with our clients in mind. We know that the law is not written in black and white – it’s a soup of grays with thousands of pages worth of material. And getting a clear answer is all but impossible. You have to get attorneys who understand the laws and can successfully argue the facts of the case in relation to the law. With so much legal jargon, it’s only natural that you will have questions. Free legal consultation gives you the ability to contact our lawyers and ask questions regarding the legalities of your case. Our attorneys will sit down and answer every last one of your questions to give you the most information possible so that you can make an educated decision on whether or not you want to pursue any legal action against Uber. Legal processes are a lengthy process and we want you to understand everything about your case before you make a decision.
Even if you already have a lawyer, it is always a good idea to get a second opinion regarding your case. Unfortunately, many attorneys do not like to go the lengthy process and accept the first offer given to them. Often, this short-sighted and selfish decision punishes the client. The lawyer fills their pockets, while the client is not given the proper compensation for their damages. Our employment attorneys are here to review your case and give you an objective estimate for the compensation you’ll receive and justice your employers will face for breaking the law.