Today, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance filed a class action complaint on behalf roughly 5,000 New York City Uber drivers against Uber Technologies and its related entities. The complaint alleges that Uber’s drivers are misclassified as independent contractors and that Uber’s compensation scheme falls far below statutory minimum wage and overtime requirements.
According to the complaint, Uber exercises a great deal of control over these “independent contractors,” enough so to convert them into employees:
From fares and fees, to what to wear and what route to take, in addition to subjecting its employees to constant monitoring by GPS, Uber directs and sets the terms and conditions of their Drivers’ work. Although Uber’s rules are often described as “suggestions,” Drivers understand clearly that failure to follow these guidelines results in temporary or permanent termination of their employment with Uber. After working for Uber continuously for years, laboring for twelve-hour-plus shifts, for six or seven days a week, these workers simply cannot be considered independent contractors performing a “gig.”
The complaint contains claims for minimum wages and overtime under the FLSA and New York state law, recovery of equipment costs, unlawful deductions, breach of contract, and promissory estoppel.
A judge has not yet been assigned to the case.