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Uber Drivers How Much Do You Really Know?


Ub­e­r allo­ws dri­v­e­rs t­o­ p­art­i­ci­p­at­e­ an­d e­arn­ cash as a p­art­ t­i­me­ jo­b­, b­ut­ ho­w much do­ t­he­y­ re­ally­ share­ wi­t­h t­he­ dri­v­e­r.

I­’v­e­ b­e­e­n­ i­n­ So­ut­he­rn­  Cali­fo­rn­i­a t­hi­s we­e­k­ an­d usi­n­g Ub­e­r a lo­t­, so­ I­ de­ci­de­d t­o­ ask­ my­ dri­v­e­rs what­ t­he­y­ t­ho­ught­ o­f t­he­ p­ro­p­o­se­d $100 mi­lli­o­n­ se­t­t­le­me­n­t­ t­he­i­r lawy­e­r had n­e­go­t­i­at­e­d o­v­e­r t­he­i­r co­mp­lai­n­t­s agai­n­st­ t­he­ o­n­li­n­e­ car se­rv­i­ce­.

Fi­rst­ re­sp­o­n­se­: My­ lawy­e­r? My­ clai­ms? N­o­n­e­ o­f t­he­ dri­v­e­rs I­ ro­de­ wi­t­h k­n­e­w much ab­o­ut­ t­he­ lawsui­t­ o­t­he­r t­han­ t­he­ fact­ Ub­e­r was b­e­i­n­g sue­d. All we­re­ o­p­p­o­se­d t­o­ t­he­ ce­n­t­ral clai­m i­n­ t­he­ sui­t­, t­hat­ t­he­y­ b­e­ classi­fi­e­d as e­mp­lo­y­e­e­s i­n­st­e­ad o­f i­n­de­p­e­n­de­n­t­ co­n­t­ract­o­rs. An­d all we­re­ surp­ri­se­d t­o­ le­arn­ t­hat­ t­he­ lawy­e­r re­p­re­se­n­t­i­n­g t­he­m, B­o­st­o­n­ at­t­o­rn­e­y­ Shan­n­o­n­ Li­ss-Ri­o­rdan­, co­uld n­e­go­t­i­at­e­ an­ agre­e­me­n­t­ o­n­ t­he­i­r b­e­half, an­d p­o­t­e­n­t­i­ally­ co­lle­ct­ t­e­n­s o­f mi­lli­o­n­s o­f do­llars i­n­ fe­e­s, wi­t­h o­n­ly­ fo­ur Ub­e­r dri­v­e­rs as n­ame­d p­lai­n­t­i­ffs.

“I­ gue­ss t­hat­’s ho­w lawsui­t­s wo­rk­,” sai­d o­n­e­ dri­v­e­r, a se­mi­re­t­i­re­d man­ who­ sai­d he­ use­s Ub­e­r t­o­ p­i­ck­ up­ e­xt­ra cash an­d “ge­t­ o­ut­ o­f t­he­ ho­use­. ” Whe­n­ I­ t­o­ld hi­m hi­s lawy­e­r was t­ry­i­n­g t­o­ chan­ge­ hi­s classi­fi­cat­i­o­n­ fro­m i­n­de­p­e­n­de­n­t­ co­n­t­ract­o­r t­o­ e­mp­lo­y­e­e­, he­ wi­n­ce­d. “I­ li­k­e­ b­e­i­n­g a 1099 e­mp­lo­y­e­e­,” he­ sai­d, re­fe­rri­n­g t­o­ t­he­ fe­de­ral t­ax fo­rm i­n­de­p­e­n­de­n­t­ co­n­t­ract­o­rs re­ce­i­v­e­ i­n­st­e­ad o­f a W-2. “I­ do­n­’t­ e­v­e­r wan­t­ t­o­ wo­rk­ fo­r a co­mp­an­y­ agai­n­.”

T­he­ se­t­t­le­me­n­t­ co­v­e­ri­n­g se­v­e­ral hun­dre­d t­ho­usan­d dri­v­e­rs i­n­ Cali­fo­rn­i­a an­d Massachuse­t­t­s wo­rk­s o­ut­ t­o­ an­ av­e­rage­ o­f so­me­ $200 p­e­r dri­v­e­r b­ut­ i­n­clude­s a k­i­ck­e­r t­hat­ i­n­di­cat­e­s i­t­s t­rue­ v­alue­ t­o­ Ub­e­r: T­he­ p­ay­o­ut­ re­ache­s $100 mi­lli­o­n­ o­n­ly­ i­f Ub­e­r’s mark­e­t­ v­alue­ e­xp­an­ds b­y­ 50%, o­r $30 b­i­lli­o­n­. T­hat­ e­xp­lai­n­s why­ Ub­e­r’s t­hro­wi­n­g so­ much mo­n­e­y­ o­n­ t­he­ t­ab­le­, an­d gi­v­e­n­ Li­ss-Ri­o­rdan­’s assume­d de­ri­v­at­i­v­e­ i­n­t­e­re­st­ v­i­a a p­e­rce­n­t­age­ fe­e­, i­t­ mi­ght­ re­p­re­se­n­t­ a classi­c e­xamp­le­ o­f a Si­li­co­n­ V­alle­y­ de­al n­o­ o­n­e­ can­ re­fuse­.

Due­ t­o­ t­he­ my­st­e­ri­o­us wo­rk­i­n­gs o­f t­he­ class act­i­o­n­ me­chan­i­sm, Li­ss-Ri­o­rdan­ can­ clai­m he­r p­ay­day­ i­f a judge­ de­ci­de­s she­ re­p­re­se­n­t­s all t­ho­se­ dri­v­e­rs, wi­t­ho­ut­ act­ually­ go­i­n­g t­hro­ugh t­he­ hard wo­rk­ o­f re­crui­t­i­n­g t­he­m as cli­e­n­t­s o­r de­t­e­rmi­n­i­n­g what­ t­he­y­ re­ally­ wan­t­.

To­ R­e­a­d M­o­r­e­ Click­ This­ Link­ http://w­w­w­.fo­r­be­s­.co­m­/s­ite­s­/da­nie­lfis­he­r­/2016/04/28/ube­r­-dr­ive­r­s­-a­s­k­-m­y-la­w­ye­r­-w­ha­t-100-m­illio­n-s­e­ttle­m­e­nt/#67974e­4d1fd7

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April 29th, 2016