From The Recorder, Ben Hancock reports on a decision by a California arbitrator that a driver for Uber was an independent contractor. Ben writes:
Attorneys for Uber Technologies Inc. have successfully persuaded a private arbitrator that a California driver for the transportation company is an independent contractor, not an employee, in the first arbitration in the United States to test that issue.
The decision has limited ramifications for the company and the many legal battles it is facing in courts across the nation over the employment status of its drivers. But it provides the first glimpse of how private jurists may approach the issue in the wake of an appeals court ruling that will, if it stands, ensure that most driver claims are arbitrated.
Michael Marcus, a neutral with Los Angeles-based ADR Services Inc. and retired judge of the California State Bar Court, dismissed the misclassification claim brought by a driver identified as “Y.E.” in a November ruling. Uber, represented by Littler Mendelson attorneys Keith Jacoby and Andrew Spurchise, petitioned the Los Angeles Superior Court to confirm the award last month and a hearing in the case has been set for Jan. 23.
In his 48-page decision, Marcus applied the so-called Borello factors to determine worker classification, noting that “Uber does not guarantee its drivers the number of rides they shall be given, does not require a minimum amount of time a driver must be online, allows its drivers to drive for competitors … and does not tell drivers where to drive while they are on the app.”
He also noted that Uber drivers are not required to wear uniforms or any clothing bearing the company’s logo. “These factors, individually, or in the aggregate, establish that Uber did and does not have the right to control [redacted] or any comparable driver,” he added. (The driver’s identity has been sealed per a confidentiality agreement with Uber.)
Read the full story at Uber Driver Is Independent Contractor, Arbitrator Rules | The Recorder