Class action lawsuit: Wisconsin Uber drivers sue Uber

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MILWAUKEE -- Uber is being sued by its own drivers! A lawsuit was filed in federal court on Friday, June 24th. It's impact could redefine ride-sharing in Wisconsin.

It's an ongoing argument: are Uber drivers independent contractors or employees? The new lawsuit could shake up how the company treats the drivers who use the app.Uber

It has become a popular way to get around town in cities around the world.

It also seems everywhere the ride-sharing company Uber does business, controversy follows -- from feuds with taxi companies, to city government.Uber

In Wisconsin, the company is being sued by someone new, their own drivers.

"More and more drivers are becoming unhappy," said Brian Mahany, attorney.

Friday, Attorney Brian Mahany filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of drivers in Wisconsin. Mahany says many drivers make less than minimum wage.

"Maintenance on the vehicle, cost, gasoline, insurance, all of their downtime. The commissions they are paying Uber, they're not making any money," said Mahany.

Attorney Brian Mahany

Attorney Brian Mahany

The central issue, however, Uber does not consider drivers who use the app employees. Instead the company defines them as independent contractors not responsible for benefits, insurance or liability for accidents.

Drivers want that changed.

"When they are sued they say, 'We're a software licensing company. We invented an app, and that's all we do, we license that app.' To you and I, they are marketing that as 'we sell rides,'" said Mahany.Uber

When asked about the new lawsuit, an Uber spokesperson sent this statement:

"Nearly 90% of drivers say the main reason they use Uber is because they love being their own boss. As employees, drivers would have set shifts, earn a fixed hourly wage, and lose the ability to drive with other ride-sharing apps, as well as the personal flexibility they most value."

"You can be a driver for Uber and still set your own hours. The argument that they are making is a false argument," said Mahany.Uber

Recently, Uber settled a similar lawsuit with drivers in California and Massachusetts that may award drivers in those states as much as $100 million. The settlement keeps drivers in those states independent contractors.

It's a sign just how important it is for Uber's business model to not have drivers as employees.

We'll have to wait and see what happens with this lawsuit.

7 comments

  • HERE WE GO AGAIN

    Gee, maybe people shouldn’t be drivers for Uber if they find out that after expenses they are not making much money. They should sue themselves for being ignorant if not plain stupid for not doing their homework first before agreeing to drive. This is a greedy lawyer standing up for liberal idiocy.

    • mmasters89

      It’s not a greedy lawyer when the drivers are the ones who want to sue. The lawyer is just doing his job in getting a case going. Whether he wins or not doesn’t really matter to him as much as it matters to his clients.

    • Wayne

      What does that have to do with Uber breaking labour laws? Doesn’t matter what the drivers do or don’t do, it doesn’t just delete the laws for Uber. This is something that is going to catch up to them sooner or later. They can only pay them off for so long. Once it goes to trial they’ll finally be able to put the issue to bed. My opinion is they are employees which is why Uber is paying them off. They want it to drag on for as many years as they can get. It’ll be years before this is settled.

  • Shamann1

    Travis:
    ” lawsuit more lawsuit less; what difference does it make?
    As long as I find retarders willing to donate time, money, efforts, gas, resources and their Santander leased car I she”
    Lol

  • Miranda James

    The simple fact of the matter is that Uber wants to sit back and reap as much profits as possible without doing the actual physical work. However on the flip side I agree that anyone who puts themselves in this position at this point should know better and not be able to sue.

  • null

    I drive for uber and lyft, I have a full time job and enjoy both services for the people and money I get working part time…not full time. With a wife who works 3rd shift, this works greats for me. Sometimes I make money, other times I dont, just have to learn the best days and times to do it. How else am I going to get a job at my own schedule when I want to, this is not a job and I am not an employee!!!

  • be

    For the love of god, the drivers that are Suing Uber need to think a little harder. When you sign up all that is disclosed to you. They don’t hide it. Oh poor thing you don’t make minimum wage then go find a real job. We wonder why our country is the way it is everyone thinks that they deserve everything. Stop being a bunch of babies and earn it.

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