Independent Contractors Get an Uber Lyft

In mid-March, two federal court judges in Northern California determined that juries will decide the question of whether the drivers for the ride services Uber and Lyft have been misclassified by those services as independent contractors. Employee plaintiffs in each case are alleging that they—and a class of similarly situated drivers—should be classified as employees. The two cases are Cotter v. Lyft, No. 13-4065 and O’Connor v. Uber, 13-3826 (U.S. District Court, Northern District of California). The decisions demonstrate the dangers of misclassifying employees as independent contractors. While there is no clear definition, there are state and federal guidelines Humboldt County employers would be well advised to consider so as to properly classify workers.