$3M Settlement Agreement Reached in New York State Uber Drivers Class Action

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel

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On January 8, 2018, ride-share giant Uber Technologies and a proposed class of New York State drivers reached a $3 million settlement that will bring a two-year legal battle to a close.

The suit itself was originally filed in New York federal court in 2015 by named plaintiffs Joce Martinez and Jose Ortega. In the complaint, Martinez and Ortega accused Uber of misclassifying drivers as independent contractors, which lead to drivers being unfairly underpaid. Specifically, the plaintiffs claim that Uber charged its drivers a portion of the taxes and ancillary fees that should have been paid by riders. The plaintiffs’ case was bolstered by a May 2017 public admission by Uber in which the company disclosed that it had been underpaying New York drivers by deducting inflated service fees from the drivers’ fees.

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The class for this suit includes all Uber drivers in New York State who drove for the company from December 29, 2009 through the date that the settlement gains judicial approval. Additionally, all Uber drivers who drove for the company after December 29, 2012 are to receive a flat rate of $100 plus a portion of the remaining settlement. Martinez will receive a $2,500 and Ortega will receive $1,000.

The Case is: Jose Ortega et al. v. Uber Technologies Inc. et al., Case No.: 1:15-cv-07387, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

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