August 24, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
San Francisco, CA – A federal judge on Aug. 18 refused to accept a proposed settlement of a class-action suit by Uber drivers, saying that the amount the company agreed to pay was “not fair, adequate, and reasonable.
” Under the April agreement, Uber would have paid $84 million to about 385,000 current and former drivers in order to avoid going to trial to defend its policy of classifying drivers as independent contractors instead of as company employees. Judge Edward M. Chen said that was far less than the case’s potential value, such as the reimbursement for gas, tolls, and maintenance that independent-contractor drivers have had to pay for themselves. Shannon Liss-Riordan, the lawyer representing drivers in the suit, said she was disappointed by the decision, and would take the case to trial if a new settlement couldn’t be reached. National Taxi Workers Alliance President Bhairavi Desai, whose union had helped a group of Uber drivers file formal objections to the settlement, said she was “pretty elated.” Read more