Two new lawsuits have been filed against Uber claiming drivers have been misclassified as independent contractors. They come in the wake of the $100 million settlement announced last month for drivers in California and Massachusetts which had also claimed independent contractor misclassification.
The new suits were filed in federal court in Illinois and Florida and seek class-action status. The Florida suit seeks to represent drivers across the US. The Illinois suit seeks to represent all US drivers, excluding those in California and Massachusetts, from within three years of the filing through the date of final judgement.
In Illinois, the suit asks the court to classify drivers as employees and award unpaid overtime and reimbursement of expenses. It also asks for tips that it alleges were wrongfully taken by Uber.
Uber’s settlement for California and Massachusetts drivers, which can be up to $100 million, still needs court approval. However, it does not make the drivers employees. They will remain independent contractors, but they will see other changes such as an appeals process and they will be able to put up signs in their cars asking for tips. The cases in California and Massachusetts involve some 350,000 drivers.
However, the settlement has taken criticism from some drivers posting filings with the court after its announcement. A filing by James Vandervoort, a Texas Uber driver, said the settlement would impact drivers even outside California and Massachusetts and was critical of plaintiffs’ attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan.
“If allowed to continue to go unchecked and to do what they please UBER will continue to set a president [sic] that many other companies will follow,” Vandervoort wrote. “The drivers have gained nothing from the proposed settlement made by and agreed on by the attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, I will go so far as to say attorney Riordan sold out on the drivers knowing she gained nothing for us, the drivers, for a nice big fat paycheck.”
Anthony Bonaccorso, a former Uber driver from Southern California also posted a court filing with criticism of the deal.
“The proposed agreement does very little to help Uber drivers and does nothing to address the central issue of the drivers [sic] employment status,” Bonaccorso wrote.
As far as the new lawsuits, the Illinois lawsuit is Lorri Trosper v. Uber Technologies Inc. and Travis Kalanick. The Florida case is Jean Edner Lamour v. Uber Technologies Inc.