Ride-sharing app Uber have been successful in reversing a class certification order in the case of O’Connor V. Uber, that had argued Uber drivers were employees rather than independent contractors.
The decision was made by a San Francisco three-judge panel on Tuesday 25, citing Uber’s arbitration clause which prohibits class actions being taken against them. Uber drivers would now have to arbitrate their claims individually, making things a whole lot more complicated and potentially more expensive. Drivers had claimed that they should be classed as employees, which would of meant they could be entitled to be reimbursements for fuel, vehicle maintenance and other expenses. Some drivers also claimed that Uber were acting “improperly” by refusing to let them keep all tips from passengers. One of the lawyers acting for the drivers said in a statement that the decision to overturn the original order that would allow drivers to act as a “class” was to be expected. Lawyer Shannon Liss-Riordan also refused to seem defeated, saying: “Thousands of drivers have already signed up for individual arbitration. “If Uber wants to resolve these disputes one by one, we are ready to do that - one by one.”