I wrote an article last week about a Pennsylvania federal court victory for Uber, repelling a misclassification attack from several drivers who claimed they should have been considered employees. You can read the full summary here. A few points are worth noting:
- As opposed to the legal tests in some states (such as California and New Jersey) where the burden lies with the business to prove that the workers are properly classified as contractors, this case required the drivers to maintain the burden of proof and demonstrate they were employees. They were unable to do so.
- The judge specifically cited to the recent landmark Grubhub trial victory to support his ruling here, describing it as “clearly relevant.” It just goes to show how important that precedent-setting win might be for gig businesses everywhere.
- It’s almost as if the judge reads our blog. He made a special mention to note that the gig economy has created “novel” business relationships that “did not exist at all ten years ago.” He noted that the development of the smartphone app has revolutionized the way in which business relationships are formed and maintained, but hinted at some frustration that the legal standards haven’t yet caught up. “With time,” he posited, “these businesses may give rise to new conceptions of employment status,” openly wishing that lawmakers and regulators move soon to formulate new ways of approaching the gig workforce.
This was a very good win for gig businesses. Read the summary to get the top 10 lessons you can learn from the case.