Federal judge rules Uber calling its drivers independent contractors may violate antitrust and harm competition

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/06/21/labor-uber.html


Oh no, another stumbling block for Uber? Oh noooo…

…shit, where did I put my popcorn? I fell asleep after my NRA-implosion popcorn-eating session.


A federal judge has ruled that alleged misclassification of drivers as independent contractors by the ride-hailing service app Uber could harm competition and violate the spirit of America’s antitrust laws

I’m not sure i understand the reasoning here. Is there an explanation on this? There’s no direct explanation on the Bloomberg article, the closest is this:

Unlike employees, independent contractors aren’t entitled to benefits such as health care, unemployment insurance, minimum wages, and overtime.

Which, yeah of course Uber is saving money and screwing over people who are basically employees but it doesn’t explain why it’s considered anti-competitive and run afoul of anti-trust. The worker status thing seems like an related thing but not directly so, was wondering if anyone might have thoughts on it.

Edit: Is it that because Uber pays less for labor it creates a market that’s harder to compete in? :thinking: That’s likely what it is but the article doesn’t make this distinction really clear. Either that or i’m dense. I think i’m dense :smiley:


I’ve been staring at it a bit but i think you have it right:
1: The drivers are legally employees
2: Assume that competitors are doing the legal thing and making said drivers employees
This means that Uber is getting employees for contractor prices & benefits illegally, which is anti-competitive.

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I hope after this all shakes out we can end up with a rideshare service that offers a fair wage and the same level of customer-facing service as Uber and Lyft do today.

Because taxi companies have now had half a decade to start a competing service and have failed, and the ship has sailed on going backwards.

So, lets get the legal crap figured out and move on with a modern and sustainable ride-sharing ecosystem already, please.


My mom has no credit card, no ability to use a smart phone, and lives in a city with no effective mass transit. She’s not a minority and lives in a mid-level income part of town, and her taxi service is… miserable. I can only imagine what it’s like without those favorable factors.

Taxis are broken.

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