9th Circ. Ruling May Stall Uber Driver Classification Suits

Law360By Linda Chiem

Law360, New York (September 9, 2016, 6:02 PM ET) — The Ninth Circuit’s ruling that ex-Uber drivers suing the company over background checks must fight it out in individual arbitration, not the courts, deals a body blow to a host of high-profile wage-and-hour class actions where drivers are accusing the ride-hailing giant of misclassifying them as independent contractors, experts say.

The three-judge panel’s much-anticipated Sept. 7 decision largely affirming the validity of Uber Technologies Inc.’s arbitration provisions applies to just two proposed class actions from ex-drivers who claimed that Uber performed background checks without their authorization…. Michael 3“Uber not having to deal with these cases on a class basis is beneficial to them, but it’s likely to potentially dissuade some of these plaintiffs from moving forward and certain attorneys from taking these cases,” said Michael Landen, a partner at Kluger Kaplan Silverman Katzen & Levine PL who specializes in labor and employment litigation. “Uber is this giant and now you have lawyers that will have to decide if they want to dip their toe in the water when there’s not nearly as much upside.”

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