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Employment Class Action: Uber Drivers Allege Wage Violations

By on April 19, 2017
uber drivers allege
Uber seems to be in trouble, again. This time Uber drivers allege wage violations. They claim that the company uses a pricing system that shortens the pay based on the routes that drivers take.
The lawsuit is filed by Sophano Van, who is an Uber driver and resident of Los Angeles. The suit claims that the new upfront pay model is a dirty business. But why exactly? What the system does is that it requires the driver to take the shortest possible route. However, the fare that it presents for the ride is longer than intended routes. So, Uber drivers allege wage violations, saying that they only receive the money for the short routes.
Uber introduced the upfront paying system in September. Back then, the company claimed that the algorithm takes into account time and distance while calculating the fare.

Where Is the Trick?

Uber manipulates the navigation data and as the suit alleges does it in a very clever and sophisticated way. Here is how. “The software utilized in determining the upfront price is specifically designed to provide a route distance and time estimate based on traffic conditions and other variables but not to determine the shortest/quickest reasonable route based on those conditions.” And the trick is that the software comes up with a better path than the driver can see.

Eventually, the passenger is disillusioned with an image of a route that is slower and longer than the one of the driver. Then, the passenger pays a higher fee, as for the long road. But the driver gets compensation for the short one. Both parties lose, while Uber gains.

Lawyers representing Sophano Van labeled this scheme “shocking, methodical and extensive.”

What Else?

Uber drivers allege that they are deprived of the total fares from the Uber app users and riders minus 20-25% of the usual booking that the company charges.  The suit asserts that such violatin is equivalent to denying workers proper wages under the California Labor Law.

Moreover, Uber identifies many drivers as independent contractors. However, the complaint mentions that in fact, they are employees according to the operating parameters that the company places on workers using the app.

“They are required to follow a litany of detailed requirements imposed on them by Uber and they are graded, and are subject to termination, based on their failure to adhere to these requirements (such as rules regarding their conduct with customers, the cleanliness of their vehicles, their timeliness in picking up customers and taking them to their destination, what they are allowed to say to customers, etc.),” the lawsuit states.

To Conclude

The class action claims breach of contract, unjust enrichment, fraud, and unfair competition. The lawsuit plans to receive back pay and legal fees as well as demands for the “the unlawful, deceptive, fraudulent, and unfair business practices” to stop.

Uber declined to comment.What is for sure is they will have a hard time both with their drivers and clients.

The Margarian Law Firm is also involved in case investigation. It is a full service law firm famous for its class action lawsuits. based in Glendale, California.

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