Ride share services are still a fairly new concept. Since they are different than traditional taxi services, there are some different issues that have arisen, such as accident liability and employment law issues. The courts are awash with cases involving ride share services. As a result, some exciting legal precedents and new case law are being written. There are several employment law issues involving ride share services that are still being worked through the courts in several states. Drivers for these ride share services should seek the assistance of an experienced labor law attorney to help them resolve any grievances. These grievances include, but are not limited to, the following issues.
Employment Status Disputes
Several states have already hosted legal battles over the status of ride share drivers. Due to the nature and flexibility of these services, some drivers and legal experts feel as though drivers operate as independent contractors. Drivers set their own hours, take only the assignments they want, and use their own vehicles and equipment to provide services for ride share passengers. On the other hand, due to some of the rules and restrictions placed on drivers by the hosting companies, such as required training for drivers receiving low ratings from users, others feel that drivers are actual employees of the ride share hosting companies. As a result, several states have made decisions on the employment status of ride share drivers. Previously, ride share companies were able to argue successfully in court that drivers are independent contractors. However, in more recent cases, California and Utah have deemed these drivers to be actual employees and not independent contractors.
Wage and Hours Disputes
Ride share services offer a great degree of flexibility for both passengers and drivers. However, due to the nature of these services, some disputes over wage and hours have arisen in several states. Drivers allege that they are not being paid for services provided. Drivers are also attempting to be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses that are necessary for operation when providing services for ride share passengers. There are cases progressing through the courts that involve drivers being underpaid for services provided, or not being paid at all. Since ride share services are still fairly new, the courts are being required to make new case law with the decisions about wage and hours issues for independent ride share drivers. These initial goal of these lawsuits is to recover wages and out-of-pocket expenses for drivers. In addition, the suits themselves can actually change the business models for these ride share companies.
For more information, talk to a professional like John Franco Law.