On Friday, The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favor of a driver in a global zero-hours economy case,media reported. The ruling paves the way for a class-action lawsuit that requires Uber to recognize Canadian drivers as employees of the company. The move follows a class-action lawsuit by David Heller, a driver for UberEats, which was challenged by Uber over other benefits such as minimum wages, vacation pay and overtime pay for UberEats drivers.
Since drivers are currently considered independent contractors for Uber, there is no such benefit.
Heller’s lawyer sedated the ruling that allowed Heller to file a lawsuit. But for a case that could take years to file a lawsuit, it’s a small step.
Uber’s contract allows arbitration, but no class-action lawsuits. After the ruling, an Uber spokesman said the company would modify the contract “to meet court requirements” but gave no details.
“In the future, Uber drivers will have a simpler case to deal with,” an Uber spokesman said in a statement. “
Two days ago, California said it would require state court judges to force Uber and Lyft to classify drivers on their platforms as employees, not independent contractors.
The Supreme Court of Canada rejected Uber’s appeal to the Ontario Superior Court, which ruled 8-1 that Uber’s arbitration clause violated the province’s labor laws and was “invalid and unenforceable.”
Uber requires arbitration to take place in the Netherlands, where its international headquarters is located, at a cost of about C$19,000 ($145,000). Driver Heller earns between C$21,000 and $31,000 a year.
“This is a case of justice,” said Michael Wright, one of Heller’s lawyers. The court’s decision basically shows that this is an unfair exploitation of the weaker party by the strong one. “
Now Heller can reopen his class-action lawsuit. But Wright, the lawyer, said the issue would not be resolved soon.