Uber must class driv­ers as em­ploy­ees

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By Olivia Rudgard in San Fran­cisco

UBER must be­gin clas­si­fy­ing its driv­ers as em­ploy­ees, a Cal­i­for­nia judge has ruled, con­demn­ing the com­pany’s “pro­longed and brazen re­fusal” to com­ply with the US state’s law.

The app-based taxi com­pany and its com­peti­tor Lyft are be­ing sued by the Cal­i­for­nia at­tor­ney gen­eral for fail­ing to com­ply with a new law set­ting strict bound­aries on when com­pa­nies can clas­sify work­ers as in­de­pen­dent con­trac­tors, rather than em­ploy­ees who are en­ti­tled to ben­e­fits such as sick leave and health in­sur­ance.

In an or­der grant­ing an in­junc­tion re­quested by the at­tor­ney gen­eral to en­force the law, San Fran­cisco judge Ethan Schul­man said the state had demon­strated an “over­whelm­ing like­li­hood” of win­ning the case.

En­force­ment of the in­junc­tion will be de­layed by 10 days to give the com­pa­nies a chance to ap­peal.

Uber has also been suc­cess­fully taken to court in the UK over its prac­tices, but has ar­gued its busi­ness model should fall out­side labour laws be­cause of the greater flex­i­bil­ity it of­fers to driv­ers.

The Supreme Court will rule on its fi­nal ap­peal in Oc­to­ber.

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