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Uber Drivers File Class Lawsuit Against The Company

Posted on Friday, June 17th, 2016 at 11:35 am    

Driving with Uber App

San-Francisco based ride hailing company is facing another class lawsuit as its drivers filed a case on grounds that they have been misclassified as an independent contractor. Aside from driver status, the lawsuit also questions Uber’s practice of telling passengers that gratuity is already included and not to tip drivers.

This new case includes all Uber drivers not located in Massachussets and California. Both states have recently reached a settlement with Uber worth $84 million. The new lawsuit was filed by Lorri Trosper, an Uber driver. The new claim alleges that Uber misclassified drivers as independent contractors, did not pay overtime wages and compensation, owes expenses reimbursement , and did not turn over gratuities.

The first two cases were filed in California and Massachusetts in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Aside from settlement, Uber will also initiate several changes in its driver discipline policy. Now, the company can not just deactivate drivers’ account at its own volition. In addition, Uber will issue warnings to drivers to give them a chance to correct any issues before being cut from the service. Aside from that, Uber will no longer deactivate the account of drivers who frequently turn down rides.

The settlement still requires the approval of Judge Edward Chen of the District Court of Northern California. A spokeswoman from Uber revealed that it will probably take several months before it is approved. If approved the settlement amount will be distributed among drivers in the two states.

Valued at $62.5 billion, Uber has been using independent contractors to shuttle passengers to their destinations. For this reason, the company keeps itself from paying a wide range of benefits such as health insurance, Social Security, overtime, or sick leaves. Representing the drivers is Shannon Liss-Riordan who brought up the case against Uber and 11 other on-demand companies.

Given this scenario, it is unlikely that Uber drivers will be treated as employees. Uber has been arguing that drivers cannot be considered employees because they set their own working hours. On the other hand, the plaintiffs argue that since Uber has control of fares and perfomance standards, they should be classified as employees and hence eligible for perks.

The trial will begin on June 20, 2016 and will last for 5 weeks.

Civil Charges Filed over MA Lab Scandal

Posted on Monday, February 4th, 2013 at 5:02 pm    

The first civil charges have been filed over a controversy that unfolded last year regarding drug samples at a Massachusetts drug lab. Chemist Annie Dookhan, a former employee of the state drug lab, has been accused of tampering with evidence and compromising as many as tens of thousands of drug samples submitted as evidence for criminal proceedings in drug crimes cases. Dookhan was arraigned in her sixth and final arraignment and pleaded “not guilty” to the charges against her.DrugTesting

Because of the invalidity of evidence used in so many MA criminal cases that were affected by Dookhan’s alleged actions, many criminal defense lawyers have been able to have the charges, convictions, and penalties against their clients overturned or dramatically reduced in severity.

Now the first charges have been filed against Dookhan and other authorities for charges and convictions based on faulty evidence. Jeffrey Solomon has named Dookhan, the state, District Attorneys from both Suffolk and Norfolk counties, and one police officer in his lawsuit. Solomon is seeking damages for drug charges and for a mandatory prison sentence that accompanied them.