Did Lyft Misclassify Drivers as "Independent Contractors"?
We believe it did—and that drivers are entitled to all of the benefits of being an employee under California law, including overtime, reimbursement of expenses (like fuel, vehicle maintenance, and repairs) and many other protections. A new decision by the California Supreme Court sets a high bar for classifying workers as "independent contractors," and we don’t believe that Lyft can meet it.
How Can I Assert My Claims?
Normally, one effective way for large numbers of workers to bring the same claims would be through a class action. But the Lyft Terms of Service include an "arbitration agreement" that says you must arbitrate your claims unless you opted out, which means most claims that you have against Lyft can't be filed in court or as part of a class action. If you are interested in filing an arbitration against Lyft, read on.
What is Arbitration?
Arbitration is a process outside of court where the parties hire someone to decide the dispute for them. Lyft's terms of service say that most of your claims have to be brought in arbitration, which will be administered by the American Arbitration Association ("AAA").
Arbitration is like a lawsuit in some ways, but is less formal. It is not public. The arbitrator's decision generally cannot be appealed. In some cases, it can be faster than filing a lawsuit.
How Can I File an Arbitration?
Our firm is currently representing Lyft drivers who wish to file arbitrations challenging Lyft's classification of them as "independent contractors" and seeking their unpaid wages and other penalties. If you are interested in having us represent you, complete the questionnaire at right and we'll send you more information about whether you qualify and how to file an arbitration.
Outten & Golden LLP and Olivier Schreiber & Chao LLP