Uber said Saturday local time that it would compensate drivers and takeaways diagnosed with the new coronavirus, or those quarantined for up to 14 days. In part, the company said it had begun compensating drivers and planned to expand the initiative globally to provide the same compensation to drivers and takeaways around the world.
Bloomberg had earlier reported that Uber had provided financial compensation to drivers exposed to the new coronavirus outbreak in the United States, and to five drivers in the United Kingdom and Mexico who were quarantined but were ultimately confirmed not infected with the virus.
The company has repeatedly said that its drivers should be classified as independent contractors. By classifying them as independent contractors, Uber can avoid providing benefits from traditional employment, such as health insurance, paid sick leave and employee compensation, drivers argue.
If these drivers are identified as employees or employees of the company, technology companies such as Uber, DoorDash and Postmates will comply with labor laws that require them to receive higher wages and other benefits, such as health insurance.