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UK employment tribunal orders Uber to provide drivers with workers' rights

[JURIST] A UK employment tribunal ruled [judgment, PDF] Friday that Uber [corporate website] can no longer treat its drivers as self-employed and must provide certain workers' rights to its drivers, including minimum wage. The tribunal determined that the drivers can be classified as "workers" for Uber subsidiaries under employment legislation and are therefore entitled to minimum wage requirements from the company. The tribunal also outlined the time period in which a driver can be considered working—beginning from the time when a driver switches on the application, or in the alternative, when he or she accepts a ride. The tribunal highlighted the conclusion that Uber is a car service, that the driver supplies his or her services for the company, and that the driver deserves payment not only for carrying passengers, but for being available for passengers as well.

Uber has faced similar challenges in the US. In September a US court ruled [JURIST report] that Uber drivers may not join in a class action suit to pursue employment claims against the transportation company but must resolve their disputes individually. In April Uber reached [JURIST report] a settlement with 385,000 of its drivers in Massachusetts and California in a case surrounding the drivers' status as independent contractors. The California Labor Commission ruled [JURIST report] in June of last year that drivers for the personal transportation service Uber are considered employees, not contractors.

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