Ever since Uber became part of our everyday world, the mandatory arbitration agreement it requires its independent contractor drivers to sign has been under constant scrutiny—and attack. A recent decision, however, fell in the gig economy company’s favor, presenting a good lesson for all gig economy companies.
In a somewhat surprising but positive development for gig companies, a Florida state appellate court ruled on February 1, 2017 that Uber drivers are independent contractors, NOT employees, and therefore not entitled to unemployment compensation benefits when their working relationship with the car ride service terminates.
Apparently, even a “no decision” decision by the U.S. Supreme Court can still establish precedent.
Relying on a Spring 2016 SCOTUS decision, a federal magistrate judge in California dismissed a proposed class action lawsuit by a driver against the ride-sharing company, Lyft, Inc., which had alleged privacy violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero ruled on Wednesday, October 5, 2016 that the driver, Michael Nokchan, lacked “standing” – the right to sue – guaranteed under Article III of the U.S. Constitution, because he could not demonstrate he suffered “concrete harm” as a result of Lyft’s manner of conducting background checks on job applicants.