A “gig economy” is a labor market staffed by temporary or freelance workers, rather than permanent job seekers. The term “gig economy” is often used to refer to companies such as Uber or Lyft, which use fleets of “independent contractors” to carry out their job duties. Many recent lawsuits, however, have argued that these companies are misusing the “independent contractor” classification. These lawsuits argue that gig-economy workers should be classified as “employees” so they enjoy all the rights and protections afforded to other workers, such as overtime compensation, reimbursement for mileage and other business expenses, and employer-sponsored health care.
Our Gig Economy Lawsuits and Investigations
Uber may be the most-discussed gig economy company. Its drivers have filed numerous lawsuits arguing they were misclassified as independent contractors. If a court determines they should be “employees,” Uber drivers could be owed substantial backpay for overtime and a large sum for mileage reimbursement.
Many Lyft drivers have filed class action lawsuits arguing that they are “employees” rather than “independent contractors.” If true, Lyft may need to pay drivers up to 58 cents per mile in mileage reimbursement and could owe other backpay.
DoorDash drivers argue that they are misclassified as “independent contractors.” If properly classified, the lawsuits argue, DoorDash drivers would be entitled to a guaranteed minimum wage, on top of 100% of tips. Many DoorDash drivers are upset about the company’s lack of transparency about its guaranteed minimums and how it distributes tips.
In these lawsuits, Postmates workers argue that they have been misclassified by Postmates and should be entitled to minimum wage, overtime, and mileage reimbursement.
These lawsuits allege that Instacart misappropriated shoppers’ tips and failed to fully compensate workers for all their time.
Shipt Shoppers allege that they are misclassified by Shipt (a Target subsidiary) as “independent contractors.” If properly classified, these delivery drivers would be entitled to additional pay and mileage reimbursement.
We filed a lawsuit on behalf of cleaners and repairmen working for on-demand app company Handy. The lawsuit argues that Handy must pay up to $25,000 in penalties per California worker that is misclassified as an independent contractor.
This lawsuit argues that tutors working for Varsity Tutors were misclassified as “independent contractors.” If properly classified, the lawsuit says, tutors would be entitled to be paid for all hours worked, including off-the-clock work they performed in California, such as time spent emailing with students or parents to set up appointments.