Following a decision last fall, in which a district judge awarded class-action status to a California lawsuit against Uber, a host of other suits have been filed nationwide, according to Ars Technica. Thirteen proposed cases in New York, Ohio, Maryland, Florida, Arizona, and Pennsylvania are attempting to follow the example set by O’Connor v. Uber (the California case).
The class-action definition means that, if successful, any ruling in the case would apply to thousands of Uber drivers across California. Since the lawsuit alleges that Uber drivers have been misclassified as contract workers, a win would secure benefits and other perks that come with being employees of the startup.
The attorneys behind the new cases tried to couple them with the O’Connor suit, but both Uber and O’Connor lawyers were opposed to that proposal. "While we favor consolidation, sometimes it's better to have 10 or 11 opportunities as opposed to one in front of a single judge—we think it’s actually going to be to our benefit," Paul Napoli, an attorney whose firm is responsible for filing many of the cases, told Ars.
One such case has been pursued by Joseph DiNofa, an UberX driver in Philadelphia, who claims he only earned $80 a week once he accounted for gas expenses, tolls, monthly lease payments, and car maintenance. In the filed complaint, DiNofa and his lawyers also said Uber determined fare prices, required its drivers to score 4.5 out of 5 stars in their customer ratings, and—due to worker misclassification—did not give drivers "itemized wage statements, minimum wages, lawful meal and rest periods, and reimbursement for necessary employment related expenses."
An Uber driver in Illinois said he made no more than $200 during a given week, while another one in Ohio alleged his hourly pay was only $5 after he covered the necessary expenses.
The O’Connor case is slated to go to trial in June.
[via Ars Technica]