Uber, Lyft Workers Misclassified, California Labor Agency Says

Aug. 5, 2020, 8:58 PM

Uber and Lyft drivers were deprived of California protections for employees because they were misclassified as independent contractors, the state labor commissioner said Aug. 5.

The claims were made in lawsuits against the companies, the office said in a news release (No. 2020-65).

Employee protections such as minimum wages, overtime, paid rest breaks, paid sick leave, and drivers’ expense reimbursements were not available to the drivers, the office said. The companies also failed to pay wages on time and did not provide accurate itemized wage-deduction statements and employment-related notices, the office said.

The lawsuits, which were filed in Alameda County Superior Court, seek to require that the companies properly classify workers, provide them employee protections, and to recover wage amounts owed to the drivers, as well as penalties and reasonable attorneys’ fees.

Wage amounts that are recovered are to be distributed to drivers who worked for Uber or Lyft during the time period covered by the lawsuit, the office said.

Effective Jan. 1, 2020, California workers are considered employees unless they are not controlled by the hiring entity, they perform work outside the hiring entity’s usual, business, and they engage in an independently established trade or occupation, the news release said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christine Pulfrey in Washington at cpulfrey@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Trimarchi at mtrimarchi@bloombergindustry.com

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