Uber Drivers Win Employee Status in New York After Labor Board Ruling

cageymaru

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Uber has lost a New York State labor review board case that has set a precedent for how similar services may function in the Big Apple. Three drivers for the company were awarded employee status for the purpose of unemployment insurance. This gives the drivers unemployment benefits as they were formerly classified as independent contractors. There are no more avenues for appeal within the NY State labor board, but Uber can appeal to a state court.

The Taxi Workers Alliance believes the decision will be "broadly precedential," and creates a new "safety net" for a beleaguered workforce. In a statement, Uber spokeswoman Alix Anfang didn't reveal the company's plans, though she did downplay the decision's significance. "We disagree with this ruling and we are reviewing our options," she said. "We are confident that the ruling uniquely applies to the three claimants because many of the practices cited in the opinion never applied to one or more of the claimants, are no longer in place, or never existed at all."
 
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"...you must now purchase a license on a per driver basis to operate in NYC. We will dictate how many licenses we sell yearly. We happen to have some nice gold tokens you can display in the vehicle to prove you have been approved."

They will always find a way to get their cut. How did this happen? If a private company wants to use an app to connect private drivers to private passengers, when did this become their business? Surely it has nothing to do with the statistically insignificant but media promoted horror stories of sexual assault by uber drivers. That would be a conspiracy theory. Theres zero connection.
 

Mut1ny

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That would be a conspiracy theory. Theres zero connection.
Oh you already know the media and taxi services had NO hands in this becoming a thing. Clearly the NYC government took personal notice of this and decided to act on their own accord. Yep, totally what happened!
 

J3RK

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I know Uber is hated on around here but I really don't get this shit. You signed up for it, you agreed to it, you can stop any time if it isn't working out for you.
A somewhat similar thing happened with Kozmo.com in the 90s. I loved those guys. Apparently they only allowed direct deposit to pay their drivers though, and everyone flipped out. Fuckers! I used to be able to order a pint of ice cream, a bag of Sour Patch Kids, and have it delivered in a few minutes while I was staying up all night playing System Shock 2 and Ultima Ascension. I was so pissed when they dissolved.
 

Spidey329

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I know Uber is hated on around here but I really don't get this shit. You signed up for it, you agreed to it, you can stop any time if it isn't working out for you.
It's a symptom of people not able to do the math on what being a "subcontractor" really entails. There's a lot of disadvantages to that status.

Corporations have been slowly moving positions to sub contractor status for years. Employees are often shifted to a new contract work company with a $1/hr raise or so and go with it. What they don't realize is that this usually includes losing about $5-$10/hr in benefits.
 

nutzo

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The Taxi Workers Alliance believes the decision will be "broadly precedential," and creates a new "safety net" for a beleaguered workforce.
Looks like a lot of Uber drivers will be taking advantage of this new "Safety net", since they will no longer have a job.

I wonder if all these newly unemployed drivers will track down these three claimants and let them know how much they appreciate the great work?
 

Mut1ny

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It's a symptom of people not able to do the math on what being a "subcontractor" really entails. There's a lot of disadvantages to that status.

Corporations have been slowly moving positions to sub contractor status for years. Employees are often shifted to a new contract work company with a $1/hr raise or so and go with it. What they don't realize is that this usually includes losing about $5-$10/hr in benefits.
I get this but is this not known when you sign up and agree to be an Uber driver? How are people demanding things, let alone getting them, when it was never part of the deal in the first place?
 

alxlwson

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Lol. Fucking unions. First, they completely hate on Uber and Lyft AND the independent contractors that are leased to them. Then, they see an opportunity to fuck those services over, and throw some money at the crooks that run NYC and play a PR campaign with the former Uber drivers. No more crooked city in the USA than NYC. Also happens to be home to the most crooked unions and most crooked politicians.
 

_l_

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everyone across America should just wise up and all stop driving for Uber ..., stupid fools are building Uber for Uber and then Uber will switch to auto-driving cars. Many corporations don't give a hoot about the people who help build it up
 

Cmdrmonkey

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Good. 1099 contractor misclassification fraud is rampant. I wish the IRS would crack down on companies who abuse their employees with that garbage. No assholes, the guy sweeping the floors and stocking the shelves is not an "independent contractor in business for himself." Does he set his own hours? Can he leave any time he wants? Does he stock shelves at other stores? No? Then he's not an independent contractor. Quit trying to scam your way out of paying your taxes and giving your employees proper benefits. It's a really shitty thing to do to your employees.
 
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alxlwson

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Good. 1099 contractor misclassification fraud is rampant. I wish the IRS would crack down on companies who abuse their employees with that garbage. No assholes, the guy sweeping the floors and stocking the shelves is not an "independent contractor in business for himself." Quit trying to scam your way out of paying your taxes and giving your employees proper benefits.

Lmao
 

ymer

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Good. 1099 contractor misclassification fraud is rampant. I wish the IRS would crack down on companies who abuse their employees with that garbage. No assholes, the guy sweeping the floors and stocking the shelves is not an "independent contractor in business for himself." Does he set his own hours? Can he leave any time he wants? Does he stock shelves at other stores? No? Then he's not an independent contractor. Quit trying to scam your way out of paying your taxes and giving your employees proper benefits. It's a really shitty thing to do to your employees.
Guess who will pay for this in the end?

hint: not Uber.
 

nutzo

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Good. 1099 contractor misclassification fraud is rampant. I wish the IRS would crack down on companies who abuse their employees with that garbage.
Just like California has been cracking down on businesses, specifically salary vs hourly.

The small company I work for used to be flexible on the hourly workers. Need to leave early, want to take a short lunch, no problem as long as the work got done.
But then the state started it's crack down, hiring goons to do random audits, with large fines if they find any issues, even if nobody has complained.

Now the hourly employees have no flexibility and they hate it.
They must take a lunch break, at least 30 minutes, and it has to be toward the middle of their shift.
They now have to clock in/out to make sure there is an audit trail. (they can no longer just fill in the card at the end of the week)
No more working an extra hour so you can take off early the next day.

Some employees that used to be salary had to be moved to hourly to meet California's strict employment rules and also suffer the same restrictions.
 

1_rick

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Guess who will pay for this in the end?

hint: not Uber.
What's going to happen is the Uber drivers will wind up being just like regular taxi drivers. No more "work when you want". And if they wind up having to be paid benefits, then they'll probably get fired if they turn down too many rides or otherwise don't make enough money.
 

OnceOver

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Uber > taxi any day of the week. I can't tell you how many times a taxi driver tried to rip me off. Some BS about not having change, then we said then you won't get paid... now he has change... triple the price for the same route we took 2 days in a row... list goes on. No thanks. It's not like uber drivers don't benefit from being able to work when they want. My friend made a lot of money driving down town Austin on weekends and could start and stop when he wanted. If I was uber and now you're my employee I can tell you when to show up for work etc... if you don't who up to work on time then you get written up.
 

daglesj

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At first they came up with an app that made Taxis cheaper and it was great!

Then they came up with an app that made plumbers cheaper and I applauded!

Then they came up with an app that made my job cheaper and now I can't afford to live anymore, have to work 18 hour days for half the money and it's disgusting! There ought to be a law against such crap!

Be careful what you wish for...
 

RAutrey

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This case was lost before the first argument was heard. Enjoy those $100 3 mile taxi fares. Hell, seems college is a waste of time. Think I will advise my son to drop out of law school and become a cab driver.

Also, why is it that the liberal mecca cities are also the most corrupt? Hmmmm...
 

daglesj

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This case was lost before the first argument was heard. Enjoy those $100 3 mile taxi fares. Hell, seems college is a waste of time. Think I will advise my son to drop out of law school and become a cab driver.

Also, why is it that the liberal mecca cities are also the most corrupt? Hmmmm...

So he can be a cab driver and earn a decent whack or he can be a Uber driver and earn jack shit? Which do you prefer for him?
 

TordanGow

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I know Uber is hated on around here but I really don't get this shit. You signed up for it, you agreed to it, you can stop any time if it isn't working out for you.
Perhaps you should look into this instance further before making an opinion.

From the article:
"Last year, however, an administrative judge in New York ruled that "the overriding evidence establishes that Uber exercised sufficient supervision, direction, and control" over the three drivers in question to establish an "employer-employee relationship."
Uber was placing requirements on the contractors that make them ineligible for contractor status. If I recall correctly they were placing work time requirements on them. Per Uber's contract you are allowed to pick your hours. They were only working during surge time, so Uber removed them from the system. Sorry, you don't get to make a contract with people that allows them to work when they want on a 24/7 service company, and then ban them when they work when they want. Time restrictions of that order are only in an employer - employee relationship. Unemployment benefits are deserved here IMO.
 

nutzo

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Does this mean exotic dancers will now get unemployment benefits when they get fat?
Not in California.
Instead strip clubs will be forced to hire them or get sued for weight discrimination.

Oh, I forgot, discriminating on weight ok age is something that most companies can get away with. Never mind.
 

ashmelev75

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Guess who will pay for this in the end?
hint: not Uber.
Maybe you're unfamiliar with a term "dumping". That's what Uber is doing by crashing the prices for cab rides in attempt to kill the existing industry. They employ cheap contractors who are being paid pretty much minimal wage and no benefits. Can you guess what's gonna happen when the old can companies are out of business? Let me help ya, surge price 24x7.
 

alxlwson

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Maybe you're unfamiliar with a term "dumping". That's what Uber is doing by crashing the prices for cab rides in attempt to kill the existing industry. They employ cheap contractors who are being paid pretty much minimal wage and no benefits. Can you guess what's gonna happen when the old can companies are out of business? Let me help ya, surge price 24x7.

My BIL drives uber and lyft full time. He claims after his expenses, he makes 4k a month.
 

MickeyBailey

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Maybe you're unfamiliar with a term "dumping". That's what Uber is doing by crashing the prices for cab rides in attempt to kill the existing industry. They employ cheap contractors who are being paid pretty much minimal wage and no benefits. Can you guess what's gonna happen when the old can companies are out of business? Let me help ya, surge price 24x7.
No one forces anyone to drive for Uber, they know the deal going into it so tell me again how it’s unfair? Their “contractor” status is what allows them to work whenever they want and not work on a whim - they are in control of their job.

I am an independent contractor as a software developer and many organizations like to pick up people like me as employee surrogates for projects but they can’t treat us the same - they actually cannot tell us when to work (e.g. be in th office for, 8:30-5), if they do then we could be considered employees and entitled to benefits.

But this leads to the bigger problem, why people think their employers owe them anything. If you don’t like your job for whatever reason, get another one. The laugh at the notion of “exploiting” the workforce in a country where *everyone* has the opportunity to own a company and be the boss.

If you think cab fare is reasonable you need help. Costs me $20 for a 10min drive 6 miles away to the airport, that’s $120/hr for a job any 16 year old could theoretically do with a few hours of training.
 

Jagger100

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Guess who will pay for this in the end?

hint: not Uber.
Most likely the drivers and passengers as Uber goes for a more profitable posture which will reduce the number of rides or pull out of NYC altogether.
 

ashmelev75

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If you think cab fare is reasonable you need help. Costs me $20 for a 10min drive 6 miles away to the airport, that’s $120/hr for a job any 16 year old could theoretically do with a few hours of training.
Personally I consider cab service a luxury. $20 for an airport ride is super cheap, if you look at the alternatives.
 

W.Feather

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Good. 1099 contractor misclassification fraud is rampant. I wish the IRS would crack down on companies who abuse their employees with that garbage. No assholes, the guy sweeping the floors and stocking the shelves is not an "independent contractor in business for himself." Does he set his own hours? Can he leave any time he wants? Does he stock shelves at other stores? No? Then he's not an independent contractor. Quit trying to scam your way out of paying your taxes and giving your employees proper benefits. It's a really shitty thing to do to your employees.
That is litterally how Uber works though .... They set their own hours, they can not work when they want. They can drive only areas they want ..... Your janitor / stocker exampler sure .... but what relevance does that have to Uber, who for the majority of their 1099's are actually functioning as 1099's?....
 
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