Summary of The Biggest Legal Crisis Facing Uber Started with a Pile of Vomit

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Since its founding in 2009, Uber, the creator of the popular ride-hailing app, has battled a series of lawsuits challenging its business practices. The company enjoys gross annual revenues close to $50 billion, yet some Uber drivers report net earnings far below minimum wage, and until recently, none received benefits such as sick pay or insurance. Some of these drivers have cried foul, taking Uber to court over their employment status and rights. Wired UK editor James Temperton looks into a landmark case currently working its way through the English courts, whose outcome could transform the global gig economy. getAbstract recommends Temperton’s well-researched article to gig-economy workers and businesses as well as anyone interested in the ways technology is changing labor practices.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why gig-economy workers are suing Uber, Deliveroo, and other companies;
  • Why these companies argue that their workers aren’t entitled to employment rights; and
  • Why some judges disagree.
 

About the Author

James Temperton is digital editor for Wired UK.

 

Summary

Two British Uber drivers have sued Uber over their employment status and rights in a case that promises to establish legal precedent with far-reaching effects on the gig economy. A relatively minor incident gave rise to the suit: In March 2015, James Farrar was driving three drunken, rowdy women in the Docklands area of London, when one vomited onto the ground. An argument ensued that resulted in Farrar filing a police report. Uber’s lack of support for Farrar led him to approach the London law firm Leigh Day. There, solicitors determined that Uber’s contract created an employer-employee relationship – a relationship that should entitle Uber drivers to the minimum wage, sick and holiday pay, and additional employment rights.


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