Uber’s settlement of several impending labor class action lawsuits may open the door to other new economy companies facing similar suits, according to The Recorder (subscription). Industry-wide, the “are-they-independent-contractors-or-are-they-employees” question, with all its attendant legal ramifications, remains open. And as the Recorder points out, open questions — particularly open questions that lead to multi-million dollar lawsuits — lead to lawsuits.
Lieff Cabraser’s Daniel Hutchinson spoke with The Recorder on the issue. “Certainly to the extent that [the Uber settlement’s sidestepping of any formal judgment] leaves a lack of clarity on these issues, I certainly think there will be people who look to resolve them in other cases.”
Hutchinson further opined that the minor changes flowing from the settlement “are perhaps an improvement over the status quo for Uber drivers, but still demonstrate how companies in the on-demand economy are trying to straddle the line. That’s dangerous ground. Companies just need to decide which side of the line they’re on.”
About Daniel Hutchinson
A partner in our San Francisco office, Mr. Hutchinson’s practice has focused on complex class and collective actions that advance the public interest. He is an advocate of under-represented and disadvantaged communities, and has also litigated cases involving unfair employment practices against immigrants.
Hutchinson has pursued a series of consumer protection cases against major banks and financial services providers. His efforts helped result in the largest monetary settlement in the history of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and ended harassing automated calls to millions of consumers.
Mr. Hutchinson was also a key player in our firm’s employment-related case against Tata, in which we represented a certified class of over 13,000 Indian nationals claiming that Tata unjustly enriched itself by requiring them to endorse and sign over their federal and state tax refund checks.