Less than a month after Uber settled two class-action lawsuits in California and Massachusetts, another one has popped up. This time, the suit pertains to all current and former Uber drivers in the United States, except for those in California and Massachusetts.
The suit, filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Chicago division, asks the court to classify Uber divers as employees rather than independent contractors, “recover unpaid overtime wages and compensation,” reimburse expenses, and pay the tips that “were earned but stolen by Uber or were lost” due to Uber’s communications and policies.
This nationwide case is very similar in nature to the two Uber recently settled in California and Massachusetts. In those two cases, the settlements determined that Uber drivers in those states will remain independent contractors. As TechCrunch previously noted, Uber had to offer several concessions, with the biggest being $100 million in payments to the 385,000 drivers represented across both cases.
This nationwide class-action suit is in its early days, but I imagine we might see a relatively similar outcome as the ones in California and Massachusetts. It’s worth noting that it took over three years for the California case to reach a settlement, but the fact that a precedent has recently been set, this case probably won’t take nearly as long.
“Nearly 90 percent of drivers say the main reason they use Uber is because they love being their own boss,” Uber said in a statement to TechCrunch about the lawsuit. “As employees, drivers would have set shifts, earn a fixed hourly wage, and lose the ability to drive with other ridesharing apps—as well as the personal flexibility they most value.”