A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the California Uber drivers suing the company for employee benefits can proceed with their lawsuit as a class action. District Court Judge Edward Chen certified a class of plaintiffs that includes “all UberBlack, UberX, and UberSUV drivers who have driven for Uber in the state of California at any time since August 16, 2009”—as many as 160,000 people.
The judge wasn’t buying it. He rejected the argument because none of the differences Uber pointed to were legally relevant—the claims the plaintiffs are making (primarily that Uber misclassified them as contractors instead of employees) are pertinent to every member of the class.
“[T]he named Plaintiffs may all be left-handed and drive Hondas, while numerous class members are right-handed and drive Toyotas. But these differences do not demonstrate that the named Plaintiffs are not typical class representatives,” Chen wrote.
The drivers are suing for reimbursement of vehicle maintenance, social security tax, and other benefits they would have received if Uber had treated them as employees rather than mere users of an app.
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