California Labor Commission rules that a former driver for ride-hailing service Uber is an employee, not a contractor. Yiming Woo reports.
Barbara Ann Berwick, an ex-Uber driver, has won a potentially landmark case against the company. The California Labor Commission said she was an employee, not an independent contractor, and therefore was entitled to be reimbursed for expenses. Under state law, workers are employees if the company exerts a certain degree of control over how they do their jobs. The commission says Uber is "involved in every aspect of the operation". The ruling could open the company up to higher costs, including Social Security, workers' compensation and unemployment insurance. Analysts say that such a change could affect its valuation, currently above $40 billion. Uber says it's "nothing more than a neutral technology platform" and that the ruling doesn't apply to other workers. It's filed an appeal. Berwick was a driver for Uber last year for nearly two months before she quit, saying the money was not what she expected.