Federal judge OKs $27 million driver settlement in Lyft lawsuit

TRANSPORTATION

Federal choose OKs $27 million driver settlement in Lyft lawsuit

Tags: California, Drivers, lawsuit, Lyft

LyftPicture Credit score: Lyft

(Reuters) – A U.S. choose gave closing approval on Thursday to a settlement settlement in a class-action lawsuit towards Lyft, ending a authorized case that challenged the impartial contractor standing of the ride-hailing service’s drivers.

U.S. District Choose Vince Chhabria in San Francisco gave his closing approval to the $27 million settlement, after granting preliminary approval in June, based on court docket filings.

The choose had beforehand rejected a $12.25 million settlement provide as a result of it “short-changed” drivers.

Lyft drivers in California had sued the corporate, arguing they need to be labeled as staff and due to this fact be entitled to reimbursement for bills, together with gasoline and automobile upkeep. Drivers pay these prices themselves.

The settlement settlement retains drivers as impartial contractors.

In his order, Chhabria cautioned, “The agreement is not perfect. And the status of Lyft drivers under California law remains uncertain going forward.”

Uber faces an identical class-action lawsuit from drivers in California and Massachusetts. A settlement provide in that case valued at as much as $100 million was rejected final 12 months by a choose who deemed it insufficient for drivers.

Lyft has greater than 700,000 drivers nationally and Uber has greater than 1.5 million globally. The income and valuations of those firms could be severely affected in the event that they needed to reclassify drivers as staff.

Legal professional Shannon Liss-Riordan, who represents the Lyft drivers, stated on Thursday she was “very pleased to be at the end of this process.” The lawsuit was filed in 2013.

A Lyft spokeswoman stated the settlement settlement “will preserve the flexibility of drivers to choose when, where and for how long they drive with Lyft.”

The corporate has stated that driver surveys present that greater than 80 % of Lyft drivers desire being impartial contractors due to the flexibleness that standing permits.

The settlement offers 1000’s of to Lyft drivers who logged essentially the most miles, though rare drivers will see a nominal amount of money. As a part of the settlement, drivers additionally get advantages akin to extra protections from getting kicked off the app.

“The question of whether the drivers are appropriately classified as employees or independent contractors will just have to wait for another day,” Liss-Riordan stated.

(Reporting by Heather Somerville; Modifying by Sandra Maler)