Do Uber Drivers Really Want to Be Full-Time Employees?


From the Wall Street Journal, Douglas MacMillan reports that hundreds of Uber drivers don’t want to be employees according to documents filed in court by Uber to challenge an effort to certify a class of drivers in a lawsuit.  Douglas writes:

“A movement to reclassify hundreds of thousands of independent contractors in the on-demand app economy as full-time employees is gaining steam. But given a choice, would these workers really want to go full-time?

That question is coming into focus as Uber and other tech startups face legal challenges to their ability to rely on large workforces of independent contractors without providing them with the benefits enjoyed by full-time employees.

In a court filing Thursday, Uber submitted personal statements from 400 of its drivers in California who say they prefer their current status of independent contractor because it affords them flexibility in their schedule and the ability to work multiple jobs, among other factors.

The testimonies were submitted as part of Uber’s opposition to a lawsuit, currently before a San Francisco judge, that seeks to prove Uber drivers are being treated like employees but compensated as contractors. The plaintiff is seeking class-action status for thousands of people who have driven for the ride-hailing service in California.

In essence, Uber is arguing the case should not be granted class-action status because a large portion of the people who fall into that class don’t believe they should be labeled employees.

The “plaintiffs do not and cannot represent the interests of the thousands of other drivers who value the complete flexibility and autonomy they enjoy as independent contractors,” Ted Boutrous, a partner in at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Uber’s outside counsel in the case, said in an emailed statement.

Flexibility is the new cherished buzzword to dozens of startups rushing to defend the legality of their employment models. Companies from Uber to Lyft to Postmates say they are pioneering a new gig economy where workers are free to clock in and out as easily as they open a smartphone app, helping many of them make time to care for a family or pursue an education or career….”

Read the full story at Do Uber Drivers Really Want to Be Full-Time Employees?

1 thought on “Do Uber Drivers Really Want to Be Full-Time Employees?

  1. Another interesting “lawsuit”…..I’ve actually thought of doing this to earn a little more, but my husband says no. But, as an independent contractor with a care giving agency, I am compensated for my mileage (over a certain distance) and I get paid enough to cover my expenses for insurance that I purchase, and it’s not even close to “about $15/hour”…..These people who are filing knew what would be the job requirement, and with your pay “But some of those drivers may just dislike the idea of working full time for Uber. Javier Calix, a driver in San Francisco, said in an interview that he would not take a full-time job offered by Uber because the company doesn’t pay him enough for that to make economic sense. While he said he used to make around $25 an hour, after gas and other expenses, when he first started driving for the service two years ago, that’s now down to about $15 an hour after all the fees Uber takes out of his pay.” surely you have enough to cover car repair cost, assuming you keep your car in good condition. I find the people who file these lawsuits are the same ones who don’t take the jobs when offered and who don’t get regular customers. Same situation here….other care givers for the agency turn down jobs, then complain when they can’t pay rent. I am so sick of people not owning up to what they do (or rather, don’t) and are quick to file suit.

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