This article is written by Surbhi Jindal, a law student at Dr. B.R. Ambedkar National Law University, Haryana. Through this article, she attempts to discuss whether cab drivers are employees or independent contractors.
Whether the cab drivers are independent contractors or employees has been the most debatable issue for a long time. While cab drivers claim that they are employees and are thus entitled to protection under employment laws and labor laws, transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft deny the claim and say that cab drivers are independent contractors.
What is the problem in classifying these cab drivers as employees? The problem is that suppose a cab driver negligently strikes off a passenger or any passerby; then the company will be held vicariously liable for the loss. There have been instances wherein, in case of the drivers’ negligence, the victims affected have asked for compensation from the company asserting that these drivers are employees and hence the company is vicariously liable.
The transportation network companies (TNC) don’t want to take the blame on themselves. TNC’s face tremendous legal issues and, at times, have been dragged to Court by the victims to seek compensation from them. The main aim is to discuss whether a cab driver is an employee or an independent contractor. Now to know this, it is pertinent to discuss a few essential concepts, such as the concept of vicarious liability, its position in England and India.
After that, this article will discuss the role and responsibilities of transportation network companies to their cab drivers. To understand the whole scenario, it is essential to look upon the terms and conditions of TNC’s. After going through the terms and conditions, you will understand why much tussle exists between the TNC and the cab drivers.
For understanding, this article takes the example of one of the leading TNC Uber business models while explaining the relationship between the TNC’s and cab drivers. This is because all the business models mostly revolve around Uber’s business model.
Understanding the doctrine of vicarious liability and its applicability in various countries
Before we move forward to examine the question asked in the article’s title, i.e., are cab drivers employees or independent contractors, let us first understand the doctrine of vicarious liability.
Vicarious liability is a doctrine that is many times referred to as an imputed liability. As a general rule, we always consider that a person committing wrong will be liable for his acts. But there is a situation where the wrongs committed by another person will also attract a liability. This is known as the doctrine of vicarious liability.
Therefore, in simple words, vicarious liability is the liability that arises out of the acts committed by another due to the relationship that exists between the two. Certain elements should be present to prove that a person is vicariously liable for the actions of his servant, employee, partner, etc. The ingredients needed to be held vicariously responsible are as follows:
- There must exist a relationship between the parties to be held vicariously liable.
- The wrongful act committed must be related to the relationship.
- The unlawful act must have been done in the course of employment.
Since we now know that a relationship must exist to be held vicariously liable, it is essential to understand the different kinds of relationships that can make a person responsible for the acts of others.
- Principal-Agent relationship
The Principal will be held vicariously liable for the negligent acts committed by the agent. A principal and agent are defined under Section 182 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872. It says that an agent is a person who is employed to do any act for another or represent him in the dealings with the third party. Here, the person for whom such an act is done is known as a principal.
The principal-agent relationship is based on the legal principle of ‘Qui facit per alium facit per se,’ which means that he who acts through another does the Act himself. The liability of the Principal and agent are both joint as well as several.
A Master will be held vicariously liable for the negligent acts committed by the servant. A servant is a person who is employed by another for working under the direction and control of a master. The legal principle used in the master-agent relationship is ‘Respondeat Superior’ and ‘Qui facit alium per se.’ ‘Respondeat Superior‘ holds the superior, i.e., master, liable for the acts of the inferior, i.e., servant.
The other principle, ‘Qui facit alium per se,’ says that the person who acts through others is deemed to do themselves in law. The two principles are applied because it is generally presumed that the master has a higher capability of paying due to large pockets and the ability to pass the burden of liability through insurance.
Partners will be vicariously responsible for all the wrongdoings committed by the other partners in a business. The rules of the agency are applied in the case of liability. For instance, A and B are two partners. A takes a loan of 2 lakhs from C in business capacity but fails to pay the amount later. Now, C will have the option to either ask from A or B or both. This is because they both are partners, and hence B will have a vicarious liability to pay the loan of 2 lakhs.
Employer-Independent contractor relationship
An employer will be held liable for the acts committed by an independent contractor only in case of ‘non-delegable duties.’ Generally, independent contractors are not considered employees of the business. Hence, the employers are not held to be vicariously liable for their acts. Independent contractors are the persons whom the firms employ on a project-to-project basis.
There is a distinction between an employee and an independent contractor. The test to determine the nature of employment is the right to control and how work is directed to perform. An independent contractor usually performs the job based on their judgment and skill. They have the power to decide how the work will be done. In simple words, independent contractors are their masters and only work as per their directions and time.
But there lies an exception that says that employers will be liable for the acts committed by an independent contractor in case of non-delegable duties. It becomes essential to understand the meaning of non-delegable duties here. Non-delegable duties are imposed to justify the liability of one person for the negligence of another to whom the former entrusted the task on their behalf.
For instance, now we consider the hospitals liable for the negligence caused in their premises irrespective of whether an employee or an independent contractor commits the negligent Act. This is done because the value of life cannot be compromised, and the hospitals must take responsibility for one’s life. They cannot evade their responsibility by asserting they are independent contractors, so we are not liable.
The same is the case with the cab drivers. If the cab drivers commit a negligent act, then it ought to be the duty of transportation network companies to provide adequate relief to the victims. Suppose I am traveling in an Uber to some XYZ place and the Uber driver was negligent in his driving. Accordingly, the exception applies to the transportation network companies as well.
Let us understand the position of the doctrine of vicarious liability in England as compared to India.
Position of doctrine in UK and India
Position of England
In the Common law system, the king was never held vicariously liable for any acts, even if they were committed under his orders or in the course of employment. The maxim followed in such times was ‘the king can do no wrong.’ He was given absolute immunity. Only the wrongdoer was held liable, and no higher officials were charged for the acts of their subordinates. Earlier, the relationship between the higher officials and assistants was of a fellow servant and not a master-servant relationship. There existed a differentiation between the government masters and ordinary masters.
With the increasing period, the crown became the largest employer. The demand for justice was felt since, as per the law, the crown was not to be held liable for the acts of its servant. Due to this uprising demand, the crown had to hold himself responsible for any negligent act committed by its servant. Crown Proceedings Act, 1947 was passed, and the crown was held equally liable for the torts committed.
In the case of WM Morrisons Supermarkets plc v Various Claimants,(2020), the UK Supreme Court clarified the position when the employers would be held vicariously liable for the acts of their employees. In this particular case, the employer was not held vicariously liable for its employee’s actions. It further clarified the test to establish the scope of when the employer will be held vicariously liable for wrongful acts done by the employee. Following observations by the Supreme Court were taken into account:
- Whether the wrongful Act was done in the course of employment or not?
- Whether the motives of the person were business oriented or personal oriented?
- Whether the authorized Act by the employer was inter-connected to the wrongful Act conducted?
In this case, the Supreme Court said that the Act done by an employee was personal-oriented. He held a grudge against the employer and took revenge. The authorized Act was not connected to the wrongful Act. Therefore in such circumstances, the employer will not be held vicariously liable. Not every time, the employer is vicariously liable. It has to be decided every time on the merits of a case whether to be held liable or not.
Position of India
England did have its Act, i.e., Crown Proceedings Act, 1947. But India still lacks legislation on this. The law of torts in India is uncodified. If we talk about the status before the Constitution of India came into being, there was a mention of state liability under Section 65 of the Government of India Act, 1858.
There was a similar provision under the Government of India Act, 1935. Even after the Constitution of India was passed, we had a provision under Article 300 that mentions the liability of the state. But the problem is the ambiguity that we have been facing since the pre-constitutional era, i.e., for what acts will the Government be held liable. The liability of the Government still depends on the discretion of judges.
The term aggregator has been defined for the platforms such as Uber, Ola, etc., in the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act, 2019. It describes it as a digital intermediary or any marketplace that seeks to connect the passenger with the driver for transportation. This was the first time these platforms were brought under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
The aggregators that are continuously denying the employee status to the platform workers have driven a revolution in India as well. Recently, a petition was filed in the Hon’ble Supreme Court demanding the social security benefits for the platform workers and gig workers. They demanded that the Court direct the Centre to extend the social security benefits to these workers engaged by Uber, Ola, Zomato, and Swiggy.
It has been asserted that Article 14 (equality), Article 21 (right to life), and Article 23 (prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labor) of the Constitution of India have been violated. Furthermore, in her petition, Senior Advocate Indira Jaising stated that the ‘Right to social security’ is a fundamental right for all people, whether they are working in formal or informal sectors.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court’s direction on this petition is awaited, and it is expected that something should be done in favor of these gig workers and platform workers.
Role of transportation network companies and their responsibilities concerning cab drivers
We already know that transportation companies consider cab drivers as independent contractors, and cab drivers want themselves to be regarded as employees because it would usher them in providing various benefits under the labor and employment laws. This dichotomy of employee vs. independent contractor relationship has posed a big problem for these cab drivers. Let’s understand how:
- If a third party suffers any injury by the negligence of TNC’s cab drivers, the drivers would not have adequate insurance to cover the loss. They are not entitled to claim any benefits from the company because of their independent contractor status. This is a clear-cut case of unequal treatment to both the third party and the cab driver.
If the cab driver had been the employee, he would have been entitled to the insurance and other loss expenses, but now due to the status of independent contractors, he is not. On the other hand, if we talk about the third party, i.e., the victim, it seems like it has become the puppet between the TNC companies and the cab driver.
The ultimate loss is being borne by the third party first in case of negligence. If you hire a cab, you believe that it will enable you to reach the destination safely. There are no expectations of you going to Court or claiming compensation. TNC companies should strictly look into this because the image of these companies (TNC) is only getting tarnished.
- If a driver is injured or killed during his performance of contractual duties, then they are not even entitled to workmen’s compensation benefits.
Ultimately, the cab drivers suffer at the hands of the third party through these transportation network companies. While the previous section of the article discussed the concept of vicarious liability, we came to know that the critical test to determine the employer-employee relationship is to see whether an employee has the right to control the manner of work or not effectively, has the right to direct or not, etc.
A paper by Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal titled ‘Ride-sharing-company drivers: employees or independent contractors?‘ analyzed Uber’s business structure, contract, and driver relationship. It has been examined that Uber reserves the right to control the driver’s job. According to the ‘right to control’ principle under vicarious liability, the cab drivers should be considered employees, not independent contractors. To understand how TNC’s like Uber controls the cab driver’s job, we had to look at how Uber drivers function.
- Customers had to install the mobile application of Uber.
- Once the customer makes the booking on the mobile application.
- Uber searches among a list of registered drivers who are around the customer’s location.
- Uber has the right to select a driver for a ride. It is important to note that Uber drivers have no say in the selection of the customer.
- After the driver accepts the ride, he is forbidden by Uber policy to enquire about the destination. Drivers have no independence in asking for a goal after they have received the ride. They have to accept the destination compulsorily.
- Apart from having no say in the selection of customers, Uber drivers also do not decide the fares and the route to be taken while traveling to their destination. So, how do they get paid? The fare paid by the customer reaches the Uber computer system, and after that, it is transferred to the driver’s account if the payment is made online.
The influence of the nature of terms and conditions on the relationship of the TNC’s and their drivers
Becoming an Uber driver is not an easy task. There are a lot of formalities that you need to go through, and only after that will you become an Uber driver. There are certain specifications that you have to fulfill. Not everyone can become an Uber driver. After a user has registered on the Uber app to become a driver, Uber conducts a verification check before selecting its driver.
Drivers are asked to share their bank account details, pan card number, family members, place of residence, etc. A person has to meet stringent standards, then only he will be able to become an Uber driver. Even after becoming an Uber driver, a person has to follow all the guidelines issued by Uber on time of registration by a person.
These guidelines are in the form of terms and conditions, which are barely read. For example, one of the terms and conditions read that if a driver declines the three trips successively, he will be suspended from the Uber platform. If an Uber driver’s rating is less than 4.5, he will also be barred from accessing the Uber platform.
Now, suppose if a person, due to his reasons, cannot accept the ride. Does he have the option to give his friend the car and his driving ID? The answer to this question is no. A Uber driver cannot share his driver ID with his fellow friend. Also, there must be no co-driver in the car while engaging in services. In simple words, a person has to be personally involved in rendering his services.
Uber has made its guidelines so rigid for the drivers that they are left with no choice rather than to accept. After reading all this, don’t you think a reasonable amount of control is enough to prove an employer-employee relationship and not an employer-independent contractor relationship?
Since the Uber driver has no say in selecting its customers, it is bound by the terms and conditions of the Uber contract, which a driver agrees to when he signs up for becoming a driver. We all know that whenever we sign up for any mobile applications, we hardly take the time to look at the terms and conditions we agree to. The companies take advantage of such a situation.
They make the people agree to what they want. If they face any legal hassle in the future, they claim that they had mentioned that explicitly in their contract to which the user agreed, and hence it is not their fault if the user didn’t read the agreement. In law, it is presumed that you have read all the terms and conditions of the contract if you have accepted all of it.
Once you read the terms and conditions of TNC’s, you will know the amount of control they exercise over the drivers, which is unreasonable as per the independent contractor status.
Therefore, it becomes essential to understand the terms and conditions of Uber in simple terms. They are below:
- Drivers have the right to decline the request to accept a ride as notified by Uber. But if the driver takes it, he has the obligation of performing his duties, and failure to do so will attract liability. He may be asked to pay damages on non-performance of his duties.
- The driver cannot carry any other person except the user and the user’s authorized guests.
- The driver’s vehicle must be in good working condition, cleaned, and sanitized. The car should meet the industry’s standards. Also, if a driver has changed his vehicle, he must notify Uber regarding the same.
- The driver must maintain the registration and insurance of the vehicle.
- The Uber policies or any TNC company prohibits the driver from accepting tips or payments in cash.
- The drivers should wait for at least 10 minutes at the user pickup’s site.
- The drivers should uninterruptedly drop the customer directly to its destination.
- As discussed before, the driver has to maintain minimum average performance ratings as specified by Uber. Failing to do so will lead to the termination of the driver’s account. The users give the rating on the app after using services.
- Although drivers may negotiate on fare price, Uber has the sole discretion to change the fare calculation when it may deem fit.
- Uber has the right not to pay drivers, and it may deserve the right to terminate the driver’s payment.
- Uber’s policy also specifies that a Uber driver must deliver his services professionally, diligently and maintain high care, service, and courtesy standards.
- The drivers can pick their hours, but they must render their services for users at least once a month.
- Uber states that the driver may deliver his services for an indefinite period until either of the parties decides to terminate it.
- Uber has clarified that it has the sole right to terminate the driver at any time with or without giving any such notice to the driver.
Transportation companies almost have similar provisions. There might be some exceptions, such as Lyft, compulsorily asking to display a pink mustache on its vehicle so that people can recognize immediately what services they are using.
Uber keeps revising its terms and policies from time to time. The last time it changed its policies was in the year 2020, owing to COVID-19 restrictions. Interestingly, in 2019, when it updated its guidelines, it provided under a separate heading ‘What is Uber’ and claimed that it is not a transportation company but a technology company. It further stated that the company did only the task of connecting passengers to drivers.
In an article by Livemint, Atul Pandey, a partner at Khaitan & Co., shared why the company might have provided these details under a specific heading. This might be because of a recent amendment in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. In the new amendment, the Government, for the first time, recognized the term ‘aggregator.’ The New Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, defined the term aggregators as “digital intermediaries or marketplaces that can be used to connect with drivers for transportation.”
Why TNC’s asserts that their drivers are independent contractors
Transportation network companies give a few explanations as to why drivers must be considered independent contractors instead of employees. A few illustrations are provided here as below:
- The first explanation is that the drivers only provide services on their platform, so they should not be considered employees.
- The second explanation is that a contract is established accordingly since they are free to work whenever they wish to. This fact demonstrates that they are independent contractors and hence not regular employees who have to work necessarily.
- As discussed in the above paragraph, we learned that Uber changed its user policies and referred to itself as a technology company instead of a transportation company. It further said that they are not involved in employing drivers; instead, they are a platform to connect passengers and drivers to ride.
- TNC’s claim that their guidelines are just suggestions and standards of performance; they are not orders.
- Furthermore, it asserts that TNC’s have minimum control over how drivers perform their tasks.
- The last and the essential claim is that drivers agree to be independent contractors.
In response to the above explanations, here are some of the rebuttal points to look upon before we consider cab drivers as independent contractors. These are listed below:
- Every mobile application platform is made to deliver the services. But offering services is no explanation as to why a person should not be considered an employee.
- Many people are working as cab drivers as a full-fledged profession to earn money. Let us keep those people aside who are working part-time or even once a month, but what about those working full time for transportation network companies?
- Uber changed its policy in the year 2019. What about the stances of cases that have happened before the year 2019. Why are TNC companies shirking their responsibility? Suppose they want themselves to be considered as a company of high repute and highly professional in providing services. In that case, it should not hold back from giving benefits to its people working for it. Changing the user’s policy will not make these companies less liable or more profitable. It only shows how these transportation network companies are shirking off from holding themselves accountable.
- Suppose the standards of performance (SOP) and guidelines are just suggestions and not orders. In that case, this directly implies that TNC reserves no right to control the fares and driving conditions such as accepting the rides, termination of the use of the platform by drivers if any violation has been breached, etc. Suggestions impose no foundation, and hence it means those are not necessary to follow. But if they are required to follow, then they are orders.
- TNC’s have the maximum control over the driver’s performance. TNC reserves various rights over drivers that can only be established if there is a relationship of employer-employee.
- The saddest part is that this is the only point where the chances are that the cab drivers will be considered independent contractors. This is because the cab drivers, without reading the terms and conditions, sign up for Uber or any other TNC mobile application where they agree to be independent contractors.
So, now you know about the brawl that is going between the employer-employee and employer-independent contractor relationship. Now, it’s essential to understand courts’ views regarding whether cab drivers should be considered employees or independent contractors. If we talk about the thought of courts in it, then the UK’s Supreme Court ruling is one of the significant judgments to be noted.
The UK Supreme Court ruled that cab drivers are not considered independent contractors, but instead, they should be considered employees. This judgment is believed to have had a significant effect on the status of cab drivers. Besides this, the verdict would also have implications on Indian society. Let us have a look at the UK’s Supreme Court ruling.
Cab drivers are workers, not self-employed, said UK’s Supreme Court
Finally, on February 19, 2021, a lengthy legal battle ended when the Hon’ble Supreme Court of the UK ruled in favor of cab drivers. They held that cab drivers should be considered workers and not independent contractors. Two drivers named James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam in 2016 filed a case against Uber in the Employment Tribunal. They claimed that they should be considered a worker as opposed to a gig worker or independent contractor. The tribunal ruled in their favor.
But Uber appealed in an appeals tribunal. The appeals tribunal upheld the employment tribunal’s verdict in November 2017. Not satisfied with the ruling, Uber once again appeared in the Court of appeal. Then finally, the British Supreme Court declared its order and reiterated that these two drivers should be considered workers under the Employment Rights Act, 1996, the National Minimum Wages Act, 1998, and the Working Time Regulations, 1998. Therefore, the drivers were entitled to minimum wages, paid leave, and other benefits to their employed counterparts.
On the other hand, Uber argued that it is only a cab-booking platform that provides transport facilities. It does not employ drivers, and the drivers are flexible in choosing their timings and working according to their convenience.
Though the verdict applies only to the drivers, it is one of the significant judgments that would overall change the perspective of Uber towards their cab drivers. The following elements were noted by the UK Supreme Court while delivering the judgment. Those are given here as follows:
- Uber is the sole authority to decide the fares to be charged by the users. Drivers are not permitted to set the fares as they would have done if they were self-employed.
- Uber has determined the terms and conditions in which the drivers have no right to say. They only have the option to either accept them or switch the app.
- Uber has the right to terminate the driver’s working relationship with the company. It has the sole right to observe the ratings of drivers based on the user’s experience. If any driver fails to maintain the average ratings, Uber terminates the driving relationship of the driver. This is an example of one of the characteristics of an employment relationship, i.e., subordination.
- Uber has the right to select the driver’s ride. If the driver continually rejects the ride, Uber has the sole authority to terminate the working relationship.
Keeping all the above points in mind, the UK’s Hon’ble Supreme Court said that the drivers are workers and not employees. It further noted that the Employment Rights Act, 1996 came into being with the sole purpose of protecting the rights of workers. It is wrong to exploit the Uber drivers based on the contract between Uber and the drivers, which is not the actual question.
After this verdict was delivered, there were certain assumptions on the implications of this verdict on India.
How the UK’s Supreme Court verdict would impact India
The COVID pandemic has seen a surge in gig workers, independent contractors, and workers over the last few years. The fewer opportunities present in the formal sector have increased the number of people seeking part-time employment opportunities. Some even look for additional income because their current full-time job isn’t offering them a lucrative amount. But do you know, as these kinds of workers increase, the exploitation is also growing at the same rate? Since the companies do not treat them as their employees, they are often left out of various benefits available to the employees.
For a long time, these workers have been demanding authorities like Uber to consider giving them benefits similar to the employees and should also be regarded as employees. But Uber is not ready to recognize them. However, the UK’s Supreme Court judgment specifies a justification for why the cab drivers should be considered employees. The decision has opened the doors for the cab drivers to consider their rights as employees. Technology is being used as a tool to blur the lines of mystification of the employer-employee relationship.
The Central Government of India has increased its focus on the workers who have been associated mainly with the big tech platforms. In its 2021-22 budget, the Government has already made mandatory the law of minimum wages on the workers, including those working with Uber. Worker’s associated with TNC’s will be covered under the Employment State Insurance Corporation (ESIC). These companies (TNC) will be obliged to deposit a certain sum of money with the state insurer.
These big tech platforms are under the scrutiny of the central Government, and it is constantly looking at its terms and conditions of services so that the workers do not get exploited. The Government also came up with the rules for ride-hailing companies. According to these rules, the TNC’s can’t make the drivers work for more than 12 hours a day. Also, they are bound to charge the maximum service fee of 20%. It also demanded that the drivers should be provided with insurance. It further added that the platforms could charge only a provided maximum amount even in the case of high-demand peak hours.
In India, there have been various stances where the driver-partners have raised their voices against the two companies Uber and Ola. The first legal challenge was in 2017, in which the Delhi Commercial Driver’s Union had approached the Delhi High Court. They alleged that these companies (TNC) exploit the drivers by not treating them as their employees.
In a plea filed by the driver’s union, they claimed that the drivers registered with these apps are even denied fundamental rights or compensation in an accident or death. But the amount of control they exercise indicates at the first stance that these drivers are employees.
Situations in other jurisdictions
After the UK’s Supreme Court judgment on the status of Uber drivers, recently, the Amsterdam District Court also ruled in favour of Uber drivers. On September 13, 2021, the Amsterdam District Court sided with the Federation of Dutch Trade Unions, asserting that the Uber drivers are the company’s employees as opposed to the independent contractors. They also said that Uber drivers must be granted the same pay and benefits as the workers in other sectors.
The decision made by the District Court will have a more significant effect on the rights of independent contractors in the economy. This is the second victory for the Uber drivers after the Britain Court’s judgment. The decision made observations on the legal relationship between Uber and the cab drivers. It said that it met all the terms and conditions of an employment contract. Therefore, they need to be treated as employees and not independent contractors. The Court found that the Uber drivers were covered under a collective labor agreement for taxi transportation.
The Court has also ordered Uber to pay a fine of 50 000 euros because it failed to implement the labor agreement terms for taxi drivers. The Court also said that in some cases, Uber drivers are entitled to repayment.
Various courts in the US, Dutch, and Britain have ruled against the TNC’s asserting that the cab drivers are employees and not independent contractors. The time has come for Uber to wholeheartedly acknowledge this fact and give its drivers the status of employees.
In Erik Search v. Uber (2015), the driver stabbed the rider. The United District Court for District of Columbia made Uber liable to pay for the damage. In another case of Doe v. Uber Techs., Inc (2016), the Uber driver had raped the consumer. The District Court for the Northern District of California directed Uber vicariously liable for its conduct. It was required that the drivers were employees, and hence Uber was vicariously liable for their conduct.
Similarly, last September 2020, the Swiss Appeal Court confirmed that Uber is the employer and the drivers under him are its employees. The Trade Union, after this judgment, hailed with joy and termed this as a landmark judgment.
Another case was when the Uber Eats by Geneva Court was given as the employer’s status, and the obligation was imposed on him to treat its drivers as its employees.
By not considering the cab drivers as its employees, TNC’s are shirking off taking the responsibility on its head. We looked at the working and terms and conditions of Uber for its drivers. Those indicate that the cab drivers are employees and not independent contractors. But if Uber wants to consider the drivers as independent contractors, it has to change its terms and conditions that should favor the Uber drivers.
By this, the author means that they should have the liberty to fix their riding rates, select their ride, and Uber does not reserve a right to terminate the working relationship. If Uber can do all this, drivers would have no objection to considering them as independent contractors. If Uber does not consider changing it and continues with this policy, it is mere exploitation.
Even the Dutch Court and UK’s Supreme Court have acknowledged the employer-employee relationship between the cab drivers and transportation network companies such as Uber, Ola, Lyft, etc. Why have the TNC’s closed their eyes? Why aren’t they understanding and acknowledging their cab drivers as employees? It’s high time for these companies to think the same.
- (PDF) RIDE-SHARING-COMPANY DRIVERS: EMPLOYEES OR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS?
- Are taxi drivers employees or independent contractors? Watch out for labor law potholes.
- Uber drivers are entitled to workers’ rights, rules UK’s Supreme Court
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