SAN FRANCISCO (AP/CBS SF) — Uber says it has settled a pair of major class-action lawsuits in California and Massachusetts that will keep its drivers independent contractors instead of employees.
The settlement announced by the ride-hailing company Thursday night is a major step toward keeping its current thriving business model that has been threatened as drivers sought more rights.READ MORE: Bay Area COVID-19 Roundup: Vaccinations By Zip Code: East Bay Entrepreneurs Eager for Red Tier Easing; Goodwill To Close 8 Local Retail Stores
Under the deal Uber will pay $84 million to the plaintiffs in the two states and another $16 million if the company goes public and meets certain goals.READ MORE: Bay Area College Students Speak Out About Experiencing Anti-Asian Racism
Classifying its workers as employees could’ve raised Uber’s operating expenses significantly and would go against its business model and identity. Uber’s selling points for drivers are based on ideas of freedom and autonomy.
Federal law does not extend collective bargaining rights to independent contractors.MORE NEWS: Health Officials Targeting 10 Bay Area Zip Codes To Get COVID-19 Vaccinations To Hardest Hit
A federal judge still must sign off on the deal.