Trial to Begin on Employment Status of Uber and Lyft Drivers

May 16, 2024by admin0

This past Monday, a long-awaited trial began regarding the employment status of Uber and Lyft drivers in Massachusetts. Individuals and businesses in Massachusetts and many other states have relied on these ride sharing apps for more than a decade because of their convenience and general affordability. Both Uber and Lyft have revolutionized the transportation industry, but Massachusetts lawmakers argue that these companies have long misclassified their drivers as independent contractors instead of employees. In doing so, they are accused of profiting from denying basic workplace protections and benefits to their drivers. On the other hand, legal representation for Uber and Lyft argue that the state is fighting for something these drivers don’t want. They maintain that the majority of drivers value their independence as a contractor, which allows them to work when they want and for either or both companies.

The case against Uber and Lyft relies heavily on a section of law known as the “ABC test” which predates the launch of both companies in Massachusetts. Under this law, an independent contractor must be:

  • Free from control and direction.
  • Performing a service “outside the usual course of business of the employer.”
  • Associated with their own independent business or trade.

Massachusetts lawmakers argue that Uber and Lyft cannot fulfill all three of these “tests.” The other side maintains that these ride sharing apps are too novel to be defined as traditional employment. Should the case against Uber and Lyft prevail, Massachusetts could see a significant uptick in ride-sharing fees and a marked decrease in the availability of drivers. 

Pregent Law looks forward to following this interesting case that affects so many in our state. As a Massachusetts lawyer specializing in employment law, I guide clients on a number of issues including: contract disputes, wage violations, harassment and discrimination. If you think you may be the victim of a workplace grievance, I encourage you to contact my firm for a free consultation

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