Considering drivers’ suit as class-action will set risky precedent: Uber attorney says

Considering drivers’ suit as class-action will set risky precedent: Uber attorney says

An attorney for app-based ride-hailing service Uber argued in San Francisco federal court on Thursday that it would be preferable not to consider three drivers' complaint as class-action suit.

Three Uber drivers have sued the company, contending they should be considered as employees and not as contractors. Reclassifying drivers as employees means Uber would have to provide them all facilities and protections prescribed under California's employment law.

The plaintiffs claim they should be entitled to reimbursement for expenses like fuel and vehicle maintenance. Currently, Uber drivers have to bear all those costs themselves.

But, Uber attorney Theodore Boutrous argued that a better procedure would be to first have a trial on the three drivers who filed the suit, instead of allowing a massive class action that would set a risky precedent.

If the court allows the suit to proceed as a class action, it could cover as many as 160,000 drivers in California and give plaintiffs significant leverage to negotiate a settlement.

Uber is one of the fastest-growing rise-sharing companies, with operationg in nearly five dozen countries. It has an estimated value of more than $40 billion.

A California labor commissioner has already ruled that an Uber driver is an employee, and not an independent contractor.

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