Uber wins legal victory against drivers who want employee benefits

Drivers have to settle with the ride-hailing giant individually.

Marrian Zhou Staff Reporter
Marrian Zhou is a Beijing-born Californian living in New York City. She joined CNET as a staff reporter upon graduation from Columbia Journalism School. When Marrian is not reporting, she is probably binge watching, playing saxophone or eating hot pot.
Marrian Zhou
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Uber scored a legal victory against drivers seeking employee benefits.

On Tuesday, a federal appeals court in San Francisco said Uber drivers can no longer sue the ride-hailing giant as a group, reversing a lower court decision which had granted the drivers class-action status, according to Reuters. The decision means drivers will have to sue Uber as individuals, potentially putting them at a disadvantage. 

Uber didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

In 2013, three drivers accused Uber in a lawsuit of misclassifying them as independent contractors rather than employees. The classification meant the drivers weren't reimbursed for expenses such as gas and vehicle maintenance. In 2015, a federal judge granted the lawsuit class-action status, allowing thousands of Uber drivers to join the suit.

"We are urging all Uber drivers who want to pursue these misclassification claims to contact us immediately to sign up for individual arbitration," said Shannon Liss-Riordan, the lawyer representing the drivers, in an email statement. "Thousands of drivers have already signed up for individual arbitration. If Uber wants to resolve these disputes one by one, we are ready to do that – one by one."