Though a ruling has been made by the California Labor Commission, the Uber Driver Lawsuit and the future of Uber’s business model are far from decided. The latest ruling in the lawsuit stated that the driver who filed the lawsuit is an employee, and not an independent contractor as Uber insists all its drivers are.
This is not the first Uber driver lawsuit, and it is certainly not the last. This most recent case could set a precedent for all California Uber drivers. If all California Uber drivers are deemed employees, operating costs for companies like Uber and Lyft could increase up to 30%.
So what does this Uber driver lawsuit mean for the people who use the app?
These Uber driver lawsuits can mean a couple things for users of the app. If the cost of making drivers employees is too high, the service may become unprofitable in some areas. If the company isn’t making money in a certain area, they will likely shut down services there. This leads to the lose-lose situation of Uber and Lyft drivers losing that income as well as drunk folk having to revert back to the ancient practice of hailing a cab and paying outrageous amounts to get home safely.
This is not a one-sided issue. Unsatisfied Uber drivers all over the country are organizing in an effort to improve working conditions. Check out the forum UberPeople.net to better understand their plight.
In my opinion, a best case scenario would be for companies like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar to simply improve relations with their so-called independent contractors. If this does not happen there will undoubtedly be some major shake-up to the business model of the ride sharing industry.