Uber Says Three Drivers Cannot Prosper Class Suit As There Is No Similar Representation Among 160,000+ Drivers
Uber Technologies argued the class suit lodged by three Uber drivers must not pursue, as each driver is largely different from one another.
Three drivers filed a motion praying for the court to certify their suit as a class action, representing all other drivers of Uber.
Uber, however, said there is no similarity among the drivers as each one signed a different service agreement and had varied onboarding process depending on their location.
In its opposition submitted on Thursday, Uber argued that “plaintiffs failed to establish that their own claims are typical of those that might be asserted by the 160,000+ drivers they seek to represent.”
In a report from LA Times, Uber spokesperson said that regardless of whether Uber succeeds in its opposition, the lawsuit shall prosper and its lawyers will do their best to avoid the class suit, which is more expensive than an individual suit.
At the core of the suit instituted by the three drivers is the issue on whether they are considered as employees or independent contractors. Should the plaintiffs win, they earn more rights and gain more benefits. Uber will have to spend more in doing business and its approach in managing drivers shall be restricted.
According to Uber in LA Times, the two drivers, Elie Gurfinkel and Thomas Colopy, “suffer from credibility problems” as there were times the plaintiff-drivers were inconsistent with their depositions on how much the management exercises control over their activities.
Matthew Manahan, the other driver, was a “fraudster,” according to Uber, as he admitted in his deposition that “he fraudulently manipulated Uber’s driver referral program, where he referred drivers to Uber, paid them to complete sham rides and collected more than $25,000 in referral incentive payments,” according to LA Times.
Earlier in June, the Labor Commissioner’s Office of the State of California ruled favorably to a plaintiff-driver who was deemed to be an employee of Uber and thus, entitled to refunds of business expenses. In making the decision, the labor arbiter relied on a 1991 Borello court ruling of Yellow Cab Cooperative vs. Workers Compensation Appeals Board, in which it was held that it is not necessary that an employer should exercise complete control over the worker’s activities for the workers to be considered as employees.