Uber continues to be the subject of lawsuits, this time facing an appeal of a decision that Uber drivers are not eligible for unemployment benefits because the drivers are considered contractors instead of employees. Darrin McGillis, an ex-Uber driver, is appealing this ruling by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
The DEO’s order states that the agreement between Uber and its drivers describes the relationship as an independent contractor agreement and the nature of the work supports that classification. The DEO found the following circumstances relevant: that the drivers control when they work, use their own vehicles, choose which customers to serve, and can work for competitors while working for Uber.
Although this ruling applies only to the specific case at bar, it could serve to establish a basis for future cases involving classification of Uber drivers and similar ride-sharing companies.
Notably, California has reached an opposite conclusion.
The case is McGillis v. Department of Economic Opportunity et al., case number 3D15-2758, in the Third District Court of Appeal of Florida.
“On these facts, it appears that Uber operates not as an employer, but as a middleman or broker for transportation services,” the DEO said.
For more information on employment litigation – including employee classification – contact Ford & Diulio PC at 714-384-5540, or email Jessica Diulio at email@example.com.