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Countdown to Judgement Day: Decision on Uber driver employee status in Canada set for Friday

The Supreme Court of Canada has announced that judgment in the following Uber driver employee status appeal will be delivered on the morning of Friday, 26 June.

Court filing seen by TaxiPoint states: ”The appellants, Uber Technologies Inc., Uber Canada Inc., Uber B.V., and Rasier Operations B.V. are part of a group of companies that have come to be known collectively and individually as Uber.

“Uber has developed computer software applications for GPS-enabled smartphones for transportation and restaurant delivery. Uber itself does not provide transportation or delivery services.

“Uber’s head offices are primarily located in the Netherlands. David Heller, a resident of Ontario, has been licensed to use the Uber driver app (UberEATS) to deliver food in Toronto since February 2016.

“He has never used the app to provide personal transportation services. In order to use the driver app, Mr. Heller had to meet certain criteria and accept Uber’s licensing agreement.

“That agreement states that it is governed by the law of the Netherlands and it includes an arbitration clause stating that disputes connected to the agreement shall be resolved by arbitration in Amsterdam.

“Mr. Heller brought a proposed class action on behalf of Uber drivers alleging that they were employees of Uber and entitled to benefits under Ontario’sEmployment Standards Act, SO 2000, c. 41.

“Uber brought a motion to stay Mr. Heller’s proposed class action in favour of arbitration which was granted by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

“The Court of Appeal for Ontario granted the subsequent appeal on the basis that the arbitration clause amounted to an illegal contracting out of Ontario’s employment standards and that the arbitration clause was unconscionable.”

The controversial ride-sharing app have faced similar pressure in a number of other countries around the world to introduce workers' rights for drivers operating across their platforms.

Up to now, Uber have managed to either win such claims in court or file ongoing appeals against those which they have lost.

Uber currently do not classify any driver/delivery person working on their platform as an employee.

Image credit: TaxiPoint


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