The lawsuit claims that drivers are pressured to learn pro-Prop. 22 messages every time they open the Uber app to start out work.
Uber drivers and nonprofits have launched a brand new lawsuit in opposition to the rideshare firm, claiming it’s abusing its financial energy to “barrage” passengers with prompts to vote for Proposition 22.
According to The San Francisco Chronicle¸ the lawsuit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court by drivers and labor advocacy teams. Collectively, the allege that Uber is violating state legal guidelines prohibiting employers from “controlling or directing” staff to partake in political actions.
The lawsuit seeks no less than $260 million damages together with injunctive aid.
As the Chronicle notes—and as LegalReader.com has reported earlier than—Proposition 22 would hold drivers and couriers for firms like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart as unbiased contractors.
If accepted, Proposition 22 would successfully exempt such providers from California Assembly Bill 5, laws supposed to make it harder for firms to claim that workers are independent contractors slightly than common workers.
The invoice would additionally entitle affected contractors to a minimal earnings baseline, as well as some advantages.
Uber—which has fought numerous lawsuits to retain contractor standing for its drivers—claims that the majority of its drivers choose the scheduling flexibility that comes with freelancing. The firm has additionally said that driver-led initiatives to safe common employment are reflective of a small minority of staff.
The Chronicle observes that Uber and its company allies have spent a whole lot of thousands and thousands of money in promoting bills to assist Proposition 22. They have bought tv ads, circulated letters, and despatched mass textual content messages.
Central to the lawsuit is one other tactic utilized by Uber: its choice to advocate for Proposition 22 via its own rideshare utility.
Accordingly, the lawsuit purports that the ads proven to drivers via the Uber app are benefiting from “a captive audience whose members are economically dependent” on the platform.
The advertisements, says the courtroom submitting, embrace “factually unfounded assertions that [Uber’s] California drivers will lose their jobs.”
“Uber is using extremely coercive tactics to try to influence its workers to line up in support of Uber’s preferred political position,” mentioned lawyer David Lowe, who’s representing the plaintiffs together with Legal Aid at Work.
“Let’s be absolutely clear,” Lowe mentioned, “Uber’s threats and constant barrage of Prop. 22 propaganda on an app the drivers must use to do their work have one purpose: to coerce the drivers to support Uber’s political battle to strip them of workplace protections.”
Uber has since implied that the lawsuit lacks benefit.
“This is an absurd lawsuit,” an Uber spokesperson mentioned, “without merit, filed solely for press attention and without regard for the facts.”
“It can’t distract from the truth,” Uber added, ”[which is] that the overwhelming majority of drivers assist Prop. 22, and have for months, as a result of they know it is going to enhance their lives and defend the way in which they like to work.”
The Verge notes that this isn’t the primary time Uber has been accused of sending undesirable or coercive textual content messages to passengers and drivers alike. Earlier this month, Uber confronted criticism for forcing passengers to “confirm” that they had seen a message explaining how Proposition 22 might have an effect on fare pricing and wait occasions earlier than being allowed to ebook a trip.