Lyft and Uber are both very similar businesses that allow any person to sign up as a driver and when they are needed, they go to the given pick up spot and take their customer where ever they ask to go. The companies take pride in being very lenient and easy - allowing their workers to have a full personal life while still keeping a good paying job.
After being hit with several lawsuits filed towards Lyft from thousands of the company's drivers, saying they were seen as independent contractors rather than employees, Lyft has decided to settle. This agreement to settle leaves Uber, a similar car ride service, alone to face the driver's lawsuits that state that they should get sick days and overtime pay alike all other employees.
According to resources Lyft has agreed to the final terms of the lawsuit and also to paying a total of $12.25 million to the affected drivers. The settlement will give the drivers conditions that apply more to the independent contractor, even though the lawsuit was filed to achieve employee status.
The difference between an employee and an independent contractor is that the employee receives more benefits and rights, but is more controlled by their employer. Whereas an independent contractor has far more flexibility in their schedule and payment, but do not get overtime pay, sick days, or any other benefits that an employee may receive.
The drivers claim that they were not being given the benefits, but were being controlled more than they should have been. Lyft has addressed the benefits matter by saying hey will be giving "portable benefits" to their workers but have not stated what this entails.
Arbitration clauses were in both Uber's and Lyft's driver agreements, but were disregarded by the plaintiffs when the lawsuits were filed originally. Lyft has agreed to pay for the arbitration fees as part of the settlement. Uber's arbitration clause was rendered invalid by the judge, but the same didn't go for the clause in Lyft's agreement.
If you are in need of assistance regarding a misclassification in the workplace or unpaid overtime, please contact the experienced southern California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik. We would be glad to assist you.