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Employee Classification and the Gig Economy – Court Leaves the Door Open for “On-Call” Time for Uber Drivers

On September 13, 2017, U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied Uber’s Partial Motion for Summary Judgment in a putative class action brought by UberBLACK drivers in Philadelphia (Rezak, et al. v. Uber Technologies). In their original Class Action Complaint filed in January of 2016, the drivers alleged that Uber violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) by misclassifying them as independent contractors and failing to pay them minimum wage and time-and-a-half overtime for hours worked over 40 per week.  Plaintiffs also argued that their time spent “on call” when logged into the Uber application is work time and therefore compensable.  Plaintiffs advanced this argument despite admitting that they conducted numerous personal activities while logged into the application while driving without Uber passengers, including: running errands, taking smoke breaks, and accepting personal phone calls. Continue Reading