Uber drivers are not employees, Penn. court rules

By Erin Ayers on April 13, 2018
Uber drivers are not employees, according to a Pennsylvania court, in a ruling on whether ride-hailing app drivers can be eligible for minimum wages and overtime under state and federal laws.

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted Uber summary judgment in a lawsuit brought by three drivers who argued that spending more than 40 hours “online” or available to pick up riders should qualify them for overtime. The plaintiffs worked as part of Uber’s UberBLACK, or limousine services, and also own their own limo services.

Much of the details in the case, the court noted, support the conclusion that Uber drivers are independent contractors.

“Uber contends that Plaintiffs are not employees of Uber because Plaintiffs are not restricted from working for other companies, pay their own expenses (which are substantial), invest in their own companies, advertise and market for their own companies, engage workers for their own companies, work using UberBLACK as much or as little as they want, reject work from UberBLACK as much as they want, and use business acumen to attain their own profits (and losses). In Uber’s view, UberBLACK is simply a source of ‘lead generation,’ like a ‘modern-day Yellow Pages,’ rather than an ‘employer’ under the FLSA,” the Court noted, referencing the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

 

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eayers@advisen.com'

Erin is an editor at Advisen. She has 15 years of journalism experience. Prior to Advisen, Erin covered property-casualty insurance for 13 years as editor-in-chief of The Standard, New England’s Insurance Weekly. Erin is based in Boston, Mass. Contact Erin at eayers@advisen.com.