Uber Driver & Advocate Lorri Trosper Filed a Class Action Suit to Recover Your Unpaid Tips & Other Damages
If you drive for Uber (or did) you might be entitled to compensation
Our Lawsuit: Uber Stole Driver Tips & is Blocking Drivers’ Legal Rights
[Ed. Note: See August 2017, September 2018 and January 2019 updates below] Uber’s legal crisis continues with our national class action lawsuit filed Sunday May 1 by Uber driver activist Lorri Trosper seeking compensation for hundreds of thousands of drivers nationwide.
The lawsuit exposes Uber’s:
- Not paying to drivers tips auto-collected from passengers under their rider agreement; and
- Avoiding drivers’ federal and state rights, benefits, and protections by illegally classifying drivers as independent contractors to avoid employee protections.
The Trosper & All Uber Drivers vs Uber, Inc. & Kalanick Lawsuit:
- Filed on behalf of drivers nationwide by former Uber driver and nationwide driver advocate Lorri Trosper;
- Attorney Brian Mahany is the lawyer who tagged Bank of America for the largest single defendant settlement in history at $16.65 billion and other wins against powerful corporations; (not a spelling error)
- United States Federal District Court for Northern District of Illinois to include Uber drivers in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Florida, Illinois, and all U.S. states.
Why a Class Action Lawsuit – It Empowers Individual Drivers
Uber Inc. is a multi-billion dollar corporation with unlimited money while the individual drivers responsible for Uber’s success are real people working to support their families.
Most people believe that when a mega corporation imposes unfair policies, engages in illegal activities that financially harm their workers, and otherwise ignores employees’ rights – there is nothing that can be done.
You can’t fight an international company with hundreds of lawyers charged with eliminating any barrier to more profits – or can you? Yes you can fight back!
Uber drivers CAN fight back with this class action lawsuit. Lorri Trosper, the advocate for Uber drivers in this lawsuit, selected a class action because it allows a handful of drivers who have been harmed in the same way (here stolen rights and tips) to sue on behalf of all others who were also Uber victims similarly cheated. This large group is “the class” in the class action lawsuit – you can join.
A victory at trial or by settlement will be a win for all drivers. Are you a present or former Uber driver?
Why MahanyLaw – Billion Dollar Experience & Aggressive Lawyers
Billion dollar companies get away with misconduct every single day. Even if someone files a class action lawsuit, the mega-company spends millions on lawyers to crush any opponent with delay, deception and truckloads of paperwork.
Lorri selected MahanyLaw because:
- Experience – Founder Brian Mahany is one of a select few American lawyers with billion dollar case experience. (Billions in settlements and wins quite recently) His brand power causes opponents to take his clients very seriously.
- Lawyers who Care – MahanyLaw attorneys treat clients like family, always. You speak with an experienced lawyer rather than being shuffled to a staff member or inexperienced attorney.
- MahanyLaw Does Not Back Down – Brian Mahany and his team are not looking for a quick settlement or fast fee. They have the resources and drive to take a case to trial against wrongdoers of any size.
Act Quickly to Preserve Your Rights – You May be Entitled to Compensation
There are time limits, called a Statute of Limitations, within which you must make your claim or lose your rights.
2017 UBER CLASS ACTION UPDATE
All of our actions have been dismissed. But keep reading, there is still hope and some recent victories!
What Went Wrong? (Why Did the Courts Dismiss So Many Uber Lawsuits?)
Despite several courtroom defeats, we believe that Uber does not treat its drivers fairly. Nothing has changed, in fact, we think Uber’s behavior has become worse.
Two years ago there were some early court victories. Judge Chen in San Francisco and Judge Rakoff in New York City. We hoped the trend would continue. Although we knew we had a steep climb in front of us, the cause was just. Uber drivers are treated like second class citizens and it seems that the company’s promises are often empty.
We filed class cases around the country on the theory that the onerous lawsuit waiver and class action waiver provisions of the driver’s agreements were void and violated public policy. What legitimate employer would have an employee or contractor sign a contract saying they couldn’t sue?
There is some case law in the midwest that suggests these waiver clauses are invalid and as noted above, there were some early court victories. Uber appealed all the decisions that went against them and unfortunately found an ally in the federal appeals courts.
In very recent weeks (April / May 2017), organized labor has expressed an interest in tackling Uber. There is strength in numbers and if these organizing efforts are successful, Uber will be forced to take drivers more seriously.
Union membership means dues but the benefits may outweigh any costs.
We are actively pursuing the Wisconsin litigation against Uber and remain committed to the cause. As political winds change, we may later regroup and see how we can help drivers in other states.
Until then, we monitor all the Uber litigation and hope that someone will finally find a theory that allows drivers to sue for unpaid wages, benefits, lost tips, unfair dismissal and the like.
Thank you for continued support.
The United States District Court has dismissed our case against Uber. Once again, a court has ruled that Uber’s driver’s agreement prevents most drivers from suing the company of bringing a class action. We are deeply disappointed and thank the many hundreds of Uber drivers who offered their support. Justice will prevail. Someday.
Federal Appeals Court Overturns Record Win by Uber Drivers
Another black news day for Uber drivers. On September 25, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the historic decision of Judge Edward Chen allowing Uber drivers to claim they were employees entitled to minimum wages and overtime pay. Judge Chen’s rulings, if upheld, would have made it easier for drivers to claim tips and expense reimbursements.
The decision of the 9th Circuit reverses Judge Chen’s orders and represents a huge victory for Uber.
A panel of three judges concluded that the lawsuit waivers contained in the drivers’ agreements are enforceable. That means that drivers are forced to individually arbitrate their claims against the ride sharing giant.
Judge Chen had ruled in favor of drivers in California two years ago. The California decision was one of the very few to be successful. Our cases and those of dozens of other great lawyers had already gone down in flames. Judge Chen’s rulings in California offered Uber drivers everywhere a glimmer of hope.
That glimmer was extinguished yesterday. (We will never give up hope, however.)
The court said that the Federal Arbitration Act “requires courts to enforce agreements to arbitrate according to their terms in order to place an arbitration agreement upon the same footing as other contracts . . . and to overrule the judiciary’s longstanding refusal to enforce agreements to arbitrate. To that end, [the law] declares that a contract evidencing a transaction involving commerce to settle by arbitration a controversy thereafter arising out of such contract or transaction . . . shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract.”
In simple English, the appeals court said that agreements to arbitrate should be enforced.
Our problems with the ruling are two fold. First, the arbitration clauses are buried in the arbitration agreement. The average driver doesn’t read fine print, particularly when many drivers sign up to drive on an app.
Second, we don’t think a corporation should be allowed to force a worker to give up their legal rights. The Constitution gives us the right to seek redress in the courts. Uber says that drivers can waive their legal rights by a few clicks of a mouse. The courts agreed with Uber.
The ruling doesn’t prevent drivers from making claims but each will have to do so in a cumbersome individual arbitration proceeding. And with each claim being arbitrated individually, 99.9% of drivers can’t afford legal counsel on their own.
Why do Uber drivers have to handle these cases on their own? Great question. The fine print in the driver’s agreement does much more than force drivers to give up their right to sue. It also says they can participate in a class action.
In a class action, hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of claim can be litigated in a single lawsuit. Individual drivers can opt out and not participate but most go along because they can’t afford the thousands of dollars necessary to fight Uber.
With lawsuits and class actions out, very few drivers will be able to challenge Uber.
January 2019 Update
Uber Drivers Win Major Victory
A North Carolina federal judge approved a $1.3 million settlement against Uber in a case filed on behalf of 5,200 drivers. The drivers claimed they were misclassified them as independent contractors, meaning they were not eligible for the minimum wage and overtime guaranties of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Uber had disagreed.
The lawsuit was originally filed in July 2016 by driver Michael Hood. After the case was certified as a class action, approximately 5200 drivers opted into the case.
The class certification covered drivers throughout the United States. It covered only those few drivers, however, who had opted out of the mandatory arbitration clause in their driver’s agreement with Uber.
As we have noted before, courts across the United States have upheld the mandatory arbitration clause used by Uber. That clause says drivers agree not to sue the company nor participate in a class action case.
Unfortunately, only a tiny percentage of Uber drivers read the fine print in their driver’s agreement before clicking to accept. Even fewer realize they can opt-out of that provision and do so.
Out of hundreds of thousands of past and present Uber drivers, just 5200 had opted out of the arbitration clause and subsequently opted in to the lawsuit. That’s great for them but does little for the majority of Uber drivers.
Under the settlement, Uber will pay $1.3 million. $734,292 will be paid to drivers and $434,000 to the lawyers for the drivers. The remaining monies is earmarked for other costs.
California and Massachusetts Drivers – Victory at Hand?
One of the original lawsuits filed against Uber was filed on behalf of Uber drivers in Massachusetts and California. That case has been somewhat of a yo-yo. The drivers win, then they lose… now in March of 2019, it looks like they have won. This will be one of the biggest victories to date for drivers and one six years in the making.
A federal judge is expected to rule on a settlement calling for drivers in those states to share $20 million in compensation. The settlement doesn’t resolve whether or not drivers are independent contractors.
Before anyone gets too excited, this lawsuit affects just 13,600 drivers in two states, drivers who timely opted out of arbitration.
The Latest Battle is in Legislative Halls, Not Courtrooms
Despite all the lawsuits nationwide, unless you timely opted out of the mandatory arbitration clause in the driver’s agreement, chances are none of these lawsuits help you. Now drivers are teaming up with legislators to change the law on mandatory arbitration clauses and independent contractor status.
California Assembly Bill 5 would make it difficult for ride share businesses to classify their workers as independent contractors. If they are employees, they are eligible for overtime pay, employment protections and minimum wage guarantees.
Uber sunk to a new low recently by using messages to drivers urging them to oppose the legislation. Uber tells drivers that by telling lawmakers to oppose the bill, they are protecting driver flexibility. Not only is that false, they fail to tell the drivers that if the bill fails (which is what Uber and Lyft) wants, drivers will continue to be denied the most basic of protections.
Uber makes money by not following US labor laws and its the drivers and their families that suffer.
Uber Must Pay $148 Million in Data Breach Case
Just one day after crushing drivers, Uber suffered a setback. The company agreed to pay $148 million in a joint settlement with all fifty states over a huge data breach in 2016. The settlement with the states does not settle consumer claims.
Uber faced many state enforcement actions after a story broke that hackers accessed payment records of 57 million riders. Compounding the problem, the company allegedly hid the breach and paid hackers to cover up the breach. The company’s legal counsel said in a blog post, “We know that earning the trust of our customers and the regulators we work with globally is no easy feat. After all, trust is hard to gain and easy to lose.”
Let’s hope the company starts to work on building trust with its drivers.
That is the most recent Uber news. Check back often and use the blog search feature for more articles on Uber.
Reminder – We are not taking any new Uber cases.