On September 1, 2015, California Uber drivers were granted class action status in an important lawsuit demanding that they be recognized as employees. Uber has been arguing that these individuals are not employees but are independent contractors, who do not have the same legal protections as employees.
There have been many other cases against Uber, claiming independent contractor misclassification, across the country. The workers are basically arguing that Uber exerts too much control over the drivers for them to be considered independent contractors, and that Uber drivers should receive the benefits and protections of being employees.
If the class action suit goes forward, it will only apply to California drivers, but it could set a precedent that would influence the outcome of similar cases against Uber, and companies with similar business models, across the country, including in New Jersey.
New Jersey law presumes that independent contractors are employees, and it is the employer’s burden to prove that the workers are independent contractors. New Jersey’s legal standard for independent contractor misclassification is far more pro-employee than almost all states.
The Sattiraju & Tharney, LLP litigates independent contractor misclassification class actions in the State of New Jersey. Please contact our law firm if you are interested in learning about your legal rights as an employee.