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?