With the rapid growth of the so-called 'sharing economy', one of the biggest issues has been whether or not workers for services like Uber and Lyft are employees of contractors.
Uber’s stance has always been that it’s a software company. Uber connects people wanting a ride to those offering a ride. It’s a logistics company. Uber simply connects third-party contractors with customers. Its drivers are independent contractors, not employees.
This has been met with numerous lawsuits and some unfavorable (for Uber, at least) rulings from regulatory bodies.
But it's not just Uber that's facing lawsuit over the employee or contractor question.
Food delivery services like GrubHub, Caviar, and DoorDash are now embroiled in a class action lawsuit of their own.
And it's the same lawyer that's going after Uber in San Francisco.
From the Chicago Tribune:
The complaints were filed in San Francisco Superior Court on behalf of the delivery drivers by Boston attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, who is also representing plaintiffs in similar lawsuits against on-demand transportation companies Uber and Lyft. A federal judge in San Francisco certified the lawsuit against Uber for class action last month.
The complaints filed against GrubHub and DoorDash are both class actions, while the Caviar complaint is a demand for arbitration on behalf of a San Francisco driver.
Earlier this month, a court ruled the case against Uber could proceed as a class action.
The lawsuit, which was filed in 2013 and fought by Uber all the way, questions the company’s classification of its drivers. The class of drivers says it should be considered employees, not contractors, which would entitle them to things like reimbursement of expenses, minimum wage, overtime pay, and more.
A week later, the California Employment Development Department (EDD) ruled that a former Uber driver was in fact an employee, not a contractor. That's not the first time a regulatory agency has done that.