More storm to come for Uber. 2019 will be an interesting year for rideshares.
(Reuters) - Someday, legal historians may look back at litigation between Uber and thousands of Uber drivers who have demanded the company arbitrate their wage-and-hour claims as an inflection point in employment law. The era of wage-and-hour class actions arguably ended with the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in Epic Systems v. Lewis, which locked in employers’ power to force workers to agree to arbitrate their disputes individually. The only way that power could backfire for employers would be if workers suddenly began filing arbitration demands en masse, forcing companies to bear the cost of arbitrating their individual cases.
That is just what Uber drivers did, as I told you last month. More than 12,500 drivers served individual arbitration demands on the ride-sharing service. And when Uber balked at paying the $1,500-per-case fee to initiate individual arbitrations at JAMS, the drivers filed a petition in federal court in San Francisco to compel Uber to pay the fees – more than $18 million in all – to launch the arbitrations specified in drivers’ contracts.