May 28, 2017
By Bhairavi Desai
Statement By Bhairavi Desai, NYTWA Executive Director on Uber’s announcement that it will be paying NY drivers back on miscalculated commission
New York, NY – The litigation referenced by Uber was indeed filed by NYTWA Uber members last June with an amended complaint submitted on May 12. While we welcome progress in Uber acknowledging its unlawful deductions, make no mistake: the full amount that Uber owes to drivers is much more than what it is now claiming.
Uber hasn’t just wrongly calculated its commission, it has been unlawfully taking the cost of sales tax and an injured worker surcharge right out of driver pay as opposed to charging it on top of the fare as the law requires. In typical Uber double speak, the company informed drivers this past Friday that it would no longer be deducting the cost of the tax and the surcharge from their pay. Meanwhile, in calculating the back pay it owes to drivers, Uber is using the difference in the commission it wrongly took from drivers, rather than reimbursing drivers the full tax and surcharge amounts they are owed back – a difference of nearly 10 percent.
Uber is attempting to do all of this without court oversight – where Uber could be made to pay up to double damages on the total cost of the taxes and surcharge it unlawfully deducted.
This payout is an attempt by Uber to pull a fast one to avoid court oversight and shortchange drivers in the process. Nice try. We’ll see Uber in court to win back all of the money drivers are owed, include up to double damages. Meanwhile, we’ll celebrate the victory of stopping this unlawful practice moving forward.