Uber drivers are employees, not independent contractors, according to an advisory opinion released last week by an Oregon state official. But Oregonlive.com reports Uber has fired back, arguing its drivers are independent contractors.
“Uber suffers or permits drivers to work for the company’s benefits. Further, drivers are economically dependent on Uber pursuant to the ‘economic realities’ test,” according to the advisory opinion by Brad Avakian, commissioner of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. “Under Oregon law, and relative to the factors discussed in this opinion, Uber drivers are employees.”’
Avakian’s analysis is not binding and any case brought up would be decided based on specific facts and legal arguments. No case has been filed, but the agency noted it received several requests for guidance on the employment status of Uber drivers.
Uber argues the commissioner’s analysis has errors, according to Oregonlive.com.
Independent contractor misclassification concerns have been a sticking point for the company. Uber faces legal action in California by drivers who claim they were misclassified as independent contractors. And one agency in California has found an Uber driver to be an employee.
Factors in the Oregon decision included Uber’s degree of control over drivers and that drivers were an integral part of Uber’s business.
Staffing Industry Analysts ranks Uber as the largest company in terms of global human cloud spend.