Uber is facing another class action lawsuit, this time coming from the New York Taxi Workers Alliance.
The suit, which could include more than 5,000 Uber drivers, was filed Thursday and alleges that the drivers have been misclassified as independent contractors, rather than employees. The lawsuit comes on the same day a San Francisco judge is holding a hearing to decide whether to accept the $100 million settlement agreement between Uber and two other class-action lawsuits arguing similar claims.
The New York Taxi Workers alliance is made up of 19,000 members, including the more than 5,000 Uber drivers, according to the suit. Ten individuals were named in the suit, along with the alliance.
In the New York suit, the drivers allege that Uber “severely harmed the thousands of drivers they recruited” through lowered take-home pay in the New York area and contributed to “broader income inequality.”
The suit also says that because of the fares set, GPS monitoring and ratings system, Uber is treating its drivers as employees.
“After working for Uber continuously for years, laboring for twelve-hour-plus shifts, for six or seven days a week, these workers simply cannot be considered independent contractors performing a ‘gig,’” the suit says.
An Uber spokesperson said that drivers enjoy the flexibility of being an independent contractor.
“As employees, drivers would have set shifts, earn a fixed hourly wage, and lose the ability to drive with other ridesharing apps—as well as the personal flexibility they most value,” the spokesperson said.
Several of the individuals named in the suit also take issue with the high monthly payments they had to make, without reimbursement from Uber, to afford new cars to drive for UberBlack, the company’s higher-end ride-hailing service.