Massachusetts judge clears lawsuits against Uber and Lyft driver status to continue

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Massachusetts judge clears lawsuits against Uber and Lyft driver status to continue


A Massachusetts judge on Thursday rejected an offer to dismiss a lawsuit by the state attorney general challenging Uber and Lyft’s classification of drivers as independent contractors instead of employees entitled to sick leave and compensation. other costly benefits.

Suffolk County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Salinger has not ruled on whether drivers are misclassified or not, but his ruling allows Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey to pursue his claims against Uber Technologies Inc and Lyft Inc in court.

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“(T) he allegations in the complaint plausibly suggest that Uber and Lyft misclassify their drivers and, as a result, deprive some drivers of required minimum wage, overtime and sick leave,” Salinger wrote in his ruling. .

Uber and Lyft deny their drivers are ranked poorly, saying the vast majority appreciate the flexibility that comes with on-demand work. Companies argue that flexibility would disappear if they were forced to reclassify drivers as employees.

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The companies did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday’s decision.

Healey in a statement called the move “a major victory in our ongoing fight to support and protect Uber and Lyft drivers from unfair and abusive practices.”

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The lawsuit is the latest in a series of challenges over the rights of construction workers, most of whom have few rights and legal benefits. This follows a heated battle in California, where voters last year cemented the entrepreneurial status of app-based workers in a poll sponsored by Uber, Lyft and other economy companies. from the scene.

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The Massachusetts lawsuit, filed in July, seeks a court order declaring ride-sharing drivers to be employees.

(Reporting by Tina Bellon in Austin and Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Karishma Singh)

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