Supreme Court drops Uber lawsuit against driver lawsuit

The judges said Uber must argue against classifying UberBLACK drivers as regular employees in a lower court.

The United States Supreme Court has declined to hear Uber’s challenge to a lawsuit alleging that the ride-sharing agency’s UberBLACK drivers should be viewed as employees rather than independent contractors.

Instead, the judges chose not to affect a judgment of the lower court. According to Reuters, that ruling resurrected a lawsuit brought by plaintiffs Ali Razak, Kenan Sabani and Khaldoun Cherdoud, who previously worked as UberBLACK drivers in Pennsylvania.

According to The Associated Press, the U.S. 3rd District Court of Appeals in Philadelphia overturned a 2018 federal judge ruling that federal fair labor law made drivers and should have been classified as independent contractors.

As The Associated Press reports – and as LegalReader.com has already written – the potential miscategorization of “gig workers” has become a major focal point in litigation. For example, companies like Uber, Lyft, and Instacart rely on independent contractors to provide critical business services.

However, independent contractors lack much of the protections that regular employees receive, such as: B. Medical benefits, tax deductions and unemployment insurance.

US Supreme Court building; Image by Mark Thomas via Pixabay.com.

Uber and Lyft in particular have faced dozens of lawsuits from current and former drivers who claim they fail to meet federal criteria for independent contractors and should instead be treated as employees.

For example, Razak, Sabani and Cherdoud had alleged that Uber paid against the federal law on minimum wages and overtime.

However, during the early stages of their litigation, a lower federal court had quickly sided with Uber, stating that the drivers had been properly and appropriately classified as independent contractors.

Despite the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear Uber’s case, the labor attorneys were keen to ascertain that the judges’ decision will have no impact on any eventual decision. Rather, the Supreme Court simply referred the matter back to the 3rd circuit.

Fiona W. Ong, an attorney for Shawe Rosenthal in Baltimore, told FreightWaves.com that the 3rd Circuit needs to answer questions that were not addressed in the trial.

“The court ruled in Uber’s favor and then the Circuit Court said, ‘Not that fast,'” Ong FreightWaves said in an interview. “There are enough questions the lower court shouldn’t have asked Uber Black.”

Ong also stated that the court will likely apply a six-tier employment test set out in Donovan versus DialAmerica Marketing.

“On appeal, the court (3rd circuit) decided that the question of which DialAmerica factors favor the status of an employee is a question of fact that should be answered [a] Fact Finder, ”Eastburn & Gray labor attorney Mark D. Eastburn told FreightWaves.

“Given that a reasonable fact-finder could determine at least some of the six factors in favor of the plaintiff, the court found the district court to give a summary judgment inappropriateness,” he added.

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