When someone works for another individual or company, the individual may not necessarily be considered an employee. In some cases, workers may be classified as independent contractors, and they do not obtain many of the same benefits as employees. Still, these workers often operate under contracts, and in some cases, contract disputes could arise if workers believe they have been misclassified.
Texas readers may be interested in a years-long dispute involving Uber and its drivers, who are classified as independent contractors. According to reports, two Uber drivers filed a class action lawsuit in 2013 claiming that categorizing them as independent contractors was an effort by Uber to avoid paying drivers minimum wage and to avoid providing benefits. Though the lawsuit was granted class action status, an appeals court later ruled that Uber’s arbitration agreements were enforceable.
Recently, the court approved a settlement that involves Uber paying $20 million to individuals who drove for the rideshare company between Aug. 16, 2009, and Feb. 28, 2019, in the states of California and Massachusetts. It was noted that Uber had attempted to settle the case in 2016 for $100 million, but a judge rejected that settlement offer. Legal representation for the plaintiffs in the case believes that this recent outcome benefits only a small number of drivers who have worked for the company.
Contract disputes can cause a number of issues that need to be addressed in a timely manner. Unfortunately, as this case shows, it can sometimes take years in order for these cases to be properly closed. If Texas company owners are facing this type of conflict with workers, it may want to look into the legal options for handling the issues as timely and efficiently as possible.