Lawsuit Accuses Uber of Stealing Drivers’ Tips and Misclassification

08/28/2014 (press release: CAWageHourLaw) // Eric Grover

Boston, MA— Uber, a startup on-demand car service that is already reportedly worth $17 billion, is facing their first wage and hour lawsuit that claims the taxi service is misclassifying its drivers and keeping a portion of gratuities for themselves, reports California wage and hour lawyer Eric Grover of the Keller Grover law firm.


Uber Technologies Inc. is accused of misclassifying its drivers as independent contractors in order to avoid offering benefits to them. In addition, the company is also accused of keeping a portion of the tips given by riders for themselves, which is a violation of Massachusetts’ tip laws, according to the lawsuit.


The lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of Uber driver, Hakan Yucesory of Brookline, is seeking class-action status that could extend to all of its drivers, the Boston Globe reported.


“By not classifying its drivers as employees, Uber is shifting the expenses of running a business to its workers,” a Boston lawyer representing Yucesory said to the Boston Globe. “Making the workers pay for these business expenses saves Uber an enormous amount of money.”


Uber reportedly creates “20,000 new driver jobs every month” worldwide, including 38 countries and 77 cities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, according to Uber. The company also claims that New York drivers could make as much as $90,000 and drivers servicing the San Francisco area could make up to $74,000.


Uber is run using a smartphone app that allows users to call for a private car service, which they claim creates a “partnership” with the drivers to allow them to build their own small business.


Yucesory’s attorney also filed a similar lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in California on behalf of six drivers, where the judge ruled in June that Uber drivers must be able to opt out of an arbitration clause in their contract. If the plaintiffs win either the California or Boston case, Uber may be required to change how it does business in the US.


“Many business hide behind the cloak of ‘helping people build their small business’ all while the bottom line is that they are really are only helping themselves,” says California wage and hour lawyer Eric Grover. “It seems like Uber is trying to make a profit on the backs of their hard working drivers by keeping their tips and having them pay their own expenses, if the accusations prove to be true. A small business can’t grow and prosper if the business model is not treating workers fairly.”


The San Francisco attorneys at the California wage and hour law firm of Keller Grover have been helping victims of wage theft recover lost wages since 2005. To learn more about wage laws and if you’ve been a victim contact, Keller Grover at 888.601. 6939.


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