US taxi firms offer to settle employee-status disputes

Driving

Several cases concerning employee status have taken place in the US as drivers for two taxi platforms dispute their classification as independent contractors in favour of being classed as employees and receiving the benefits that this affords.

Lyft has proposed a revised settlement agreement for the Cotter v Lyft class action case, which includes more than 163,000 drivers in California. The settlement offer includes a $27 million (£18.7 million) payment to drivers.

Under the agreement, drivers would continue to operate as independent contractors. The settlement only applies to Lyft drivers based in California, but the organisation plans to make terms of service and product changes nationwide if the new agreement is approved.

Uber has been the subject of similar class action lawsuits, making a settlement offer relating to the O’Connor et al. v Uber Technologies case in California and Yucesoy v Uber Technologies in Massachusetts. The taxi organisation has agreed to a settlement that will pay plaintiffs $84 million (£58 million). It will also continue to classify drivers as independent contractors under the agreement.