Uber Technologies has been hit with a proposed class action lawsuit that alleges the company has misclassified California drivers as independent contractors and thusly owes the workers paid sick leave.
Citing California’s Labor Code, the lawsuit argues that Uber’s failure to provide drivers with state-mandated sick leave is particularly harmful given the worldwide COVID-19 crisis. The case says that because Uber does not acknowledge drivers as employees entitled to paid sick leave, the drivers “will feel the need to continue working in order to support themselves, even if they feel ill.”
According to the nine-page lawsuit, Uber’s failure to comply with California’s labor law creates an immediate danger to both drivers and the general public.
“Faced with the choice of staying home without pay and risking losing their access to their livelihood, including housing, food, and other necessities of living, Uber drivers across California will continue working and risk exposing hundreds of riders who enter their car on a weekly basis to this deadly disease,” the lawsuit reads, adding that state law requires employers to allow employees to accrue sick days at a rate of not less than one hour for every 30 hours worked after being employed for 30 days within a year from the start of employment.
Echoing a long line of lawsuits arguing for Uber to classify drivers as bona fide employees, the case, citing the California Supreme Court’s Dynamex decision, argues that the level of control to which Uber drivers are subject is an indicator that the independent contractor tag is not appropriate. In line with that claim, the lawsuit more specifically alleges Uber cannot pass the “ABC test” adopted in California that’s used to determine whether a worker can be classified as an independent contractor in that the company cannot prove that drivers perform services outside of its usual course of business.
Initially filed in San Francisco County Superior Court, the lawsuit has been removed to California’s Northern District.