Federal Court Grants Uber’s Class Action Certification Appeal
The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted Uber’s appeal regarding the class action certification of Uber drivers in California. This will stall the case, which concerns whether Uber drivers are employees rather than independent contractors. Uber argued that all drivers forfeited their right to be a member of a class action lawsuit because their contracts contained a binding arbitration clause. Should Uber prevail on appeal, each driver would be forced to individually arbitrate to achieve employee certification.
Independent Contractor Classification of Uber Drivers May Violate Antitrust Laws
A lawsuit alleging Uber violates antitrust laws has been permitted to move forward by U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff. The suit, filed against Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, alleges Uber violates antitrust laws by classifying their drivers as independent contractors, but not permitting them to compete on price. The fares are calculated through an algorithm which cause all drivers to charge the same price, and according to Rakoff, “through the magic of smartphone technology, can invite hundreds of thousands of drivers in far-flung locations to agree to Uber’s terms.”
Self-Driving Car Will Be Considered Autonomous Driver
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the artificial intelligence system in Google’s self-driving car can be considered a driver under federal law. Now, Google faces the challenge of ensuring the system complies with standards designed to apply to vehicles with human drivers. Worried that the technological progress will be impaired by regulation, Chris Urmson, the head of the Google project, said the “leadership of the federal government is critically important given the growing patchwork of state laws and regulations on self-driving cars.”