Our attorneys are investigating a Lyft class action lawsuit on behalf of drivers who were improperly classified as “independent contractors” when they should be entitled to the rights of “employees.” If they were employees, for example, under California labor law, Lyft drivers would be entitled to guaranteed earnings of at least $12 per hour, 100% of tips, and reimbursement for all mileage (at a rate of 58 cents per gallon).
Lyft driver? Know your rights
Lyft may have misclassified you to avoid paying you what it owes under your state’s labor laws. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Past Lyft Class Action Settlement and Payouts
In 2017, a federal judge approved a $27 million class action settlement between Lyft and its California drivers, who alleged that they had been misclassified as “independent contractors.” The judge had previously rejected a proposed $12 million settlement because he felt it “short changed” drivers. The judge cautioned, however, that:
The agreement is not perfect. And the status of Lyft drivers under California law remains uncertain going forward.
The lawsuit, which was originally filed in 2013, provided expected payouts to Lyft drivers of up to $8,000, depending on how many hours they drove for Lyft per week, and how many total hours they drove, according to the settlement website.
In addition to payouts, the settlement also provided non-monetary relief. According to the settlement website, the class settlement:
- Prohibited Lyft from deactivating drivers without providing a reason, and limited the permissible reasons that Lyft could use to a pre-defined list;
- Required Lyft to add an option to allow customers to “favorite” a driver;
- Required Lyft to provide additional information to Lyft drivers about prospective customers before accepting the ride.
Other Class Action Lawsuits against Lyft
Numerous class action lawsuits have been filed against Lyft on behalf of drivers that say they’ve been misclassified. In some cases, courts have ordered the drivers to arbitrate their disputes on an individual basis, because the drivers — when they signed up — checked a box saying they waived their right to participate in a class action and agreed to arbitrate their claims with Lyft on an individual basis.
In a class action lawsuit filed against Lyft in August 2019, one Lyft driver argued that he should be allowed to pursue a class action lawsuit — despite signing the arbitration agreement — because Lyft was refusing to pay the filing fees required of it in order to arbitrate his dispute. In his class action complaint, the Lyft driver documents the multi-month efforts he made to proceed against Lyft in arbitration, while the company ignored his pleas to move forward.
In another lawsuit, a Lyft driver sued Uber, alleging that Uber had instructed some of its drivers to request bogus Lyft rides, sending its competitor’s drivers in the area on a “wild goose chase” looking for rides that did not exist (they were really Uber drivers requesting fake rides). When this Lyft driver sued Uber, the company argued that the Lyft driver was bound by an arbitration clause with Uber. But a California appeals court held that the dispute did not need to be arbitrated and could proceed in court.
How to sue Lyft
The legal landscape against Lyft is uncertain. Some cases against Lyft may be filed in court, whereas others must be filed in arbitration. And misclassification law in California and other states is changing rapidly. California, for example, is considering a new law, Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), which could require Lyft to reclassify its workers as “employees,” providing them with guaranteed minimum wage, overtime, mileage reimbursement, sick pay, and other benefits and protections of California’s employment laws.
To best understand how to sue Lyft — for example what forum to sue in; whether you can file as a class action; and whether the underlying labor laws are favorable to you, you should consult a knowledgeable attorney.
Attorneys for Lyft Driver Lawsuits
Gibbs Law Group is a California-based law firm committed to protecting the rights of clients nationwide who have been harmed by corporate misconduct. We represent individuals, whistleblowers, employees, and small businesses across the U.S. against the world’s largest corporations. Our award-winning lawyers have achieved landmark recoveries and over a billion dollars for our clients in high-stakes class action and individual cases involving consumer protection, data breach, digital privacy, and federal and California employment lawsuits. Our attorneys have received numerous honors for their work, including “Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California,” “Top Class Action Attorneys Under 40,” “Consumer Protection MVP,” “Best Lawyers in America,” and “Top Cybersecurity/ Privacy Attorneys Under 40.”
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