Established 1958 ~ Hardball Business Litigation & Complex Negotiations

Eastern District Court Rules that Uber Drivers are Not Employees under the FLSA

On April 11, 2018, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania found that Drivers working for Uber Technologies Inc.’s car service failed to show that they are employees. Razak v. Uber Technologies, Inc., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61230, 2018 WL 1744467 (E.D. Pa., April 11, 2018). Plaintiffs filed claims against Uber Technologies Inc. (“Uber”) for violations of the federal and state minimum wage and overtime requirements. They claimed that Uber violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (PMWA), and Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law (WPCL). The Court held that the Plaintiffs did not qualify as “employees” under either the state or federal statutes and granted Uber’s motion for summary judgment.

The Court found that the Plaintiffs did not bring sufficient evidence to support their burden of showing that they were “employees” as required by the FLSA. To determine whether Plaintiffs were employees, the Court assessed the facts under the Donovan factors which are: “(1) the degree of the alleged employer’s right to control the manner in which the work is to be performed; (2) the alleged employee’s opportunity for profit or loss depending upon his managerial skill; (3) the alleged employee’s investment in equipment or materials required for his task, or his employment of helpers; (4) whether the service rendered requires a special skill; (5) the degree of permanence of the working relationship; and (6) whether the service rendered is an integral part of the alleged employer’s business.” The Court’s analysis was based on the totality of the circumstances, and no one factor was dispositive in the classification of a worker as an employee or an independent contractor.

The Court found that the only factors weighing in Plaintiffs favor were the fourth “special skills” factor and the sixth “integral part factor.” However, considering the elements in totality, the Donovan factors strongly favored Plaintiffs classification as independent contractors rather than employees given their ability to create their own schedules, choose where they want to work, and that they had the freedom to attend to personal matters while not in service. Therefore, the Plaintiffs were unable to meet their necessary burden, and the Court ruled in favor of Uber in granting its Motion for Summary Judgment.

For more information, call our Philadelphia employment lawyers for Fair Labor Standards Act in Philadelphia and South Jersey at the Law Office of Sidkoff, Pincus & Green at 215-574-0600 or contact us online.