California Affects Uber Elsewhere
According to the California Labor Commission, anyone who decides to drive for Uber in California will be considered an employee and not a contractor, as reported by Reuters. Moreover, the Wall Street Journal has also found that because of this ruling, San Francisco-based driver Barbara Ann Benwick will be reimbursed $4,000 for business expenses. Unfortunately for Uber Technologies Inc, their legal problems don’t end there as it finds itself facing similar challenges in various states across the U.S. Moreover, the ride sharing company is also facing a number of similar problems overseas.
In Vermont, Seven Days has reported that Vermont’s Department of Labor (DOL) is currently looking into the classification of Uber drivers, with Commissioner of Labor Annie Noonan stating, “We’re obviously very interested in what’s happening in these other jurisdictions.” As part of this investigation, the Vermont DOL is reportedly looking into Uber’s driver vetting process, which covers background checks. Moreover, Vermont DOL is also looking into the ride sharing company’s termination policies.
Meanwhile, Associated Press reports that Uber may be blocked from operating its service in Sioux Falls, South Dakota’s largest city, which reportedly covers an area of 190.3 km². According to Assistant City Attorney Keith Allenstein, Uber is expected to follow city rules that covers both taxi cab drivers and independent contractors.
In response, Uber spokesman Jaime Moore has told the Argus Leader that local regulations such as this are exactly what keeps Uber from expanding to other markets. For instance, Sioux Falls regulations would require Uber’s drivers to obtain licenses, permits and commercial license plates. Moreover, the said drivers will also be subjected to vehicle inspections and sales tax. Since as much as 80% of Uber drivers are operating part time, Uber believes that costly regulations such as this can have a negative effect in their recruitment.
While these are all happening in the U.S., Reuters reports that Uber also finds itself being opposed by taxi cab organizations Mexico City, claiming that the service it provides is illegal. In response to this complaint, the ride-sharing company has stated that it is open to be regulated in Mexico City, where it has been servicing passengers since 2013. Meanwhile, Reuters has also found that similar taxi cab association complaints against Uber have been filed in Italy and France.