Uber hit with class-action lawsuit (sharing economy is getting real) [bostonglobe.com]
Adding to the growing list of challenges facing Uber Technologies Inc. , a well-known Boston labor lawyer is suing the upstart car service claiming that it is exploiting drivers.
The suit filed Thursday in Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston by Shannon Liss-Riordan, who has won major labor lawsuits representing Starbucks baristas, house cleaners, skycaps, and exotic dancers, accuses Uber of misclassifying its drivers as independent contractors to avoid paying them the same as employees with benefits.
The suit also accuses Uber of not giving drivers all the money they receive in gratuities from riders, that the company “retains a portion of the gratuity for itself.” That alleged conduct violates the Massachusetts tips law, said Liss-Riordan.
“By not classifying its drivers as employees, Uber is shifting the expenses of running a business to its workers,” Liss-Riordan said. “Making the workers pay for these business expenses saves Uber an enormous amount of money.”