Ride-sharing titan Uber — which is valued at about $68 billion — makes a lot of its money by skirting labor laws. And one of its top lobbying allies in the nation’s capital may have just undermined its profits.
Uber keeps its costs low by refusing to treat its drivers as employees. Under American labor law, employees are entitled to a minimum wage, overtime pay and have their expenses reimbursed. They can receive unemployment benefits if they get laid off, and have the right to unionize if they want to bargain collectively for better contract terms. The company’s drivers aren’t eligible for any of this, however, because the company maintains that its drivers are independent contractors — automotive entrepreneurs running their own businesses who have decided to link their operations with Uber.
Andrew Schmidt, a labor lawyer from Portland, Maine, has brought a new lawsuit on behalf of his client Spencer Meyer that could create a lot of trouble for Uber based on this distinction. Because if Uber’s drivers are really independent contractors like the company claims, it could be breaking a whole different set of laws: The antitrust statutes that protect consumers from corporate collusion.
“Uber has a simple but illegal business plan: to fix prices among competitors and take a cut of the profits,” the complaint reads Read Zach Carter’s article here:
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