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Employment Class Action: Uber Drivers Allege Wage Violations
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.”
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.
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.