Are Uber drivers employees? California and Florida say yes!
California declares Uber driver an employee, not a contractor
The California Labor commission handed down a decision in recent months stating that a San Francisco Uber driver was not a contractor, but actually an employee of the popular ride sharing company!
Many people are hailing this decision as the beginning of the process for getting Uber drivers things like mileage reimbursement and workman’s compensation benefits. Uber was quick to stay it will challenge the ruling, and likewise emphasized that the commission’s ruling applied only to the driver involved in the proceedings.
Far less known than the California decision that is electrifying the business news wires is a recent Florida decision h by that state’s Unemployment Commission. An Uber driver was picking up a fare when his SUV was struck by a scooter. Because he was using his vehicle for work purposes, his insurance company disclaimed coverage. Uber also refused to pay because the passenger had not yet gotten into the car. The driver sued for unemployment benefits, and won!
The rationale for both decision is that Uber controls how a driver behaves, what vehicles may be operated, and can even fire the driver at will (or, in Uber parlance, cut them off from access to the app).
Local DC residents are unclear how these decisions will affect them, as no case or issue has come to a head in the Metropolitan area. However, with Uber, Lyft, and other services now providing rides to Washington National, many will be asking themselves how the playing field has changed.