Legal professional Standard Maura Healey is suing Uber and Lyft, inquiring the courts to declare that drivers are employees of the transportation tech giants, alternatively than unbiased contractors — a accommodate the corporations are vowing to struggle.
“Uber and Lyft have gotten a absolutely free journey for considerably way too extensive,” Healey insisted in a virtual information meeting on Tuesday, saying the suit in Suffolk Excellent Courtroom. “These drivers are personnel less than Massachusetts regulation.”
The AG reported she’s in search of a court order ruling that the motorists for the trip-sharing providers are staff, relatively than contractors, and deeming that the drivers have the rights that regular staff have, like minimal wage, overtime pay back, unwell leave and advantages.
If that ended up the case, the journey-share giants would also have to fork out into unemployment insurance policies and employees payment, Healey reported.
“Without their drivers, Uber and Lyft wouldn’t exist,” Healey claimed. The match seeks for the courtroom to issue an injunction requiring the firms to classify the motorists as employees.
Healey claimed the estimates experienced been that there were being 200,000 Uber and Lyft drivers in the state, nevertheless that selection may have absent down beneath the pandemic.
California, in which Uber and Lyft are centered, has filed a related fit.
The corporations, identified as transportation community organizations, or TNCs, quickly panned the move and vowed to combat it.
“At a time when Massachusetts’ economy is in disaster with a file 16% unemployment amount, we need to have to make it easier, not tougher, for people today to immediately start earning an profits,” an Uber spokeswoman said in a assertion. “We will contest this motion in court, as it flies in the confront of what the broad the vast majority of motorists want: to work independently.”
And a Lyft spokesman mentioned, “This lawsuit threatens to eliminate get the job done for a lot more than 50,000 men and women in Massachusetts at the worst attainable time. Drivers don’t want this — 89% of Massachusetts Lyft motorists generate fewer than 20 hours per week and opt for to drive rideshare specifically simply because of the independence it gives them to make dollars in their spare time.”
Felipe Martinez, head of the two-12 months-old Boston Impartial Drivers Guild, appeared in the virtual press conference with Healey, expressing, “When I initial started off driving, I believed the lie — I assumed I was my have unbiased contractor with my own business enterprise. But Uber and Lyft controlled how substantially I acquired paid out, wherever I drove and improved the terms and ailments every time they want.”