Should Uber and Lyft drivers be employees of the company or independent contractors?
If they are hurt in an accident, should they get workers’ compensation?
We at the Law Offices of Vincent J. Ciecka, P.C., a leading car accident lawyer in Burlington County and surrounding areas, believe drivers need to be careful and aware of any potential legal troubles they could face if an on-the-job injury occurs. Uber or Lyft drivers are usually not full-time employees, so they’re generally not covered by workers’ compensation.
Uber and Lyft base their business models on independent contractors and have faced lawsuits against drivers that demand they be classified as employees rather than contractors without benefits.
Babekr v. XYZ Two Way Radio
Babekr v. XYZ Two Way Radio is a case that discusses the issue of whether ride-sharing business drivers are employees or independent contractors. The Appellate Division held in Babekr v. XYZ Two Way Radio that a limo driver was not an employee when the vehicle he was driving was involved in a crash while working.
Babekr had supplied chauffeuring services to XYZ, a car limousine service, since 1988. The petitioner worked six days per week and 10 to 12 hours per day. He got to pick and choose when to work, which was generally from early evening until about 6:00 a.m. He also used his own car to chauffeur passengers and paid for his car insurance.
Everything was up to him.
The petitioner filed a motion for medical and temporary disability benefits. XYZ denied that he was an employee and the Judge of Compensation ruled in XYZ’s favor. The Appellate Division affirmed the dismissal of the case saying:
XYZ exercised very little control over the means and manner of petitioner’s performance. While petitioner had to dress in a certain way and drive a particular kind of car, these were hardly exacting, controlling measures and he was otherwise left on his own and was largely unaccountable to XYZ. XYZ located passengers for him when he chose to log onto the computer and, in return, he transported the passengers for a percentage of the fare.
Workers’ compensation for “gig economy” workers should be the same as traditional, payroll employees. Being a driver ranks as one of the nation’s most dangerous jobs as workplace violence and car accidents contribute to a high fatality rate.
Are you a ride share employee in need of legal help?
As a leading auto accident attorney in Camden County and other surrounding areas in the New Jersey and Philadelphia area, the Law Offices of Vincent J. Ciecka, P.C. offers our clients the highest level of legal expertise. Our team of lawyers is available to help ride share drivers who believe they have been treated unfairly by their employers.
If you are hurt and need help, contact us immediately so we can go to work for you. We help injured people get compensation and medical treatment so they can get back to health and their daily activities without having to deal with the insurance companies.