Uber drivers are reportedly suing the ride-sharing firm for allegedly pressuring them to support Prop 22, a ballot initiative to make gig workers independent contractors instead of employees as mandated by a recent state law.
Bloomberg Law reports that according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in San Francisco Superior Court, a number of Uber drivers are suing the ride-sharing giant for allegedly pressuring them to support a ballot initiative that would make gig workers independent contractors.
The suit claims that Uber used a campaign of misinformation to pressure drivers to advocate and vote for the passage of Prop 22, which would overturn a law in California that makes it difficult for gig companies such as Uber and Lyft to classify workers as contractors.
If gig workers are classified as employees, they’re entitled to overtime, minimum wage, and other benefits, something which Uber, Lyft, and other gig economy workers appear to be attempting to avoid. So far the companies have invested almost $200 million into the campaign “Yes on 22.”
The drivers alleged that they were faced with a “barrage of misinformation” about the initiative via pop-ups on the Uber app that made m misleading claims about driver benefits under Prop 22 including details regarding accident insurances, earnings guarantees, scheduling, and anti-discrimination protections.
One pop-up only provides the option for drivers to select “Yes on Prop. 22″ or “OK,” to exit, pressuring them to accept Uber’s political stance. David Lowe, an attorney with Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe in San Francisco, commented: “What Uber is doing here that really crosses the line is the way they are soliciting drivers to support Prop 22. They are using the app they control to ask drivers to weigh in, and at the same time telling drivers you’ll have to reapply for your job. They’ll know who toed the line and who didn’t.”
Lowe further added that his firm filed charges with the state labor agency against Lyft, Instacart, and other gig companies involved in the Proposition 22 campaign. Uber spokesperson Matt Kallman commented: “This is an absurd lawsuit, without merit, filed solely for press attention and without regard for the facts. It can’t distract from the truth: that the vast majority of drivers support Prop 22 and have for months because they know it will improve their lives and protect the way they prefer to work.”
Read more at Bloomberg Law here.