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A lawsuit in California claims Uber is purposefully delaying the arbitration requests of more than 12,000 drivers.
The drivers — considered contractors by Uber — are requesting arbitration for complaints regarding minimum wage, overtime pay, and more.
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At the current rate Uber is processing the complaints, it would take 10 years for all of the complaints to be heard, the suit says.
Like thousands of other companies, Uber requires most drivers to sign an arbitration agreement that requires disputes to be resolved directly with the company, and not through a court.
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There is an option to opt-out of the clause, as outlined in the company's 21-page terms and conditions, but it must be done in writing within 30 days of signing the agreement.
Now, fed up with f alling pay and their status as contractors rather than employees, 12,501 drivers have filed a lawsuit in California accusing Uber of ignoring their requests for arbitration. The suit was first reported by Motherboard.
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Of the 300 pages of partners requesting arbitration, the plaintiffs claim only 47 have been appointed arbiters and only six have seen the process move forward.
"They're not using what they used as a shield as a sword," Stephen Larson, an attorney for the petitioners, told Business Insider. "We're essentially calling their bluff. This has been the trend for corporations for decades across the country, of inserting this clause specifically to block class action lawsuits."
Uber - Spokesperson
An Uber spokesperson declined to comment.
The case was originally brought as a class action lawsuit in multiple states regarding drivers status as contractors. Their complaints in five states range from failure to pay minimum wage, lack of overtime compensation, no paid sick leave, and other things that would be required if drivers were considered employees.
Issue - Employees - Contractors - Larson
"The essential issue is whether they're employees or contractors," said Larson, representing...
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