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The Uber/Lyft settlement in NY can help you identify wage theft

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2024 | Wage Theft

Due to allegations against them, Uber and Lyft recently settled a wage theft case in New York for $328 million. The companies also agreed to pay sick leave and create a minimum wage for the drivers.

Allegations against these ride-sharing giants suggest they failed to adequately compensate their drivers, thus violating labor laws. Understanding the nature of these allegations sheds light on the broader issue of wage theft within the gig economy. This understanding can help you recognize the signs in your workplace.

Understanding the allegations

The wage theft allegations revolve around drivers having to pay taxes and fees that the passengers should have paid. There are also allegations that these companies have misclassified drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. The claim asserts that Uber and Lyft avoided providing benefits and protections with this categorization, such as minimum wage guarantees and overtime pay.

Under compensation

For employees in various industries, recognizing signs of wage theft is important. Some common indicators include wages less than the minimum and not receiving overtime pay for hours worked beyond the standard 40-hour workweek. Other signs include facing unauthorized deductions from wages. For Uber and Lyft drivers, misclassification as independent contractors was a red flag.

Unreimbursed expenses

Another aspect of the allegations involves unreimbursed expenses incurred by drivers. If employees must cover job-related costs, such as fuel or maintenance, and are not reimbursed, it may constitute wage theft. Understanding what expenses the employer should cover can help you identify similar situations.

Off-the-clock work

Employees should be aware of situations where they must work off the clock, before or after their scheduled shifts. If this time is not compensated, it may constitute wage theft. Employers must ensure that all hours worked are accurately recorded and appropriately compensated. It can also manifest in failing to provide required breaks or meal periods. In some cases, employers may pressure workers to work through breaks or not compensate them for the time spent working during these breaks.

As the NY Uber/Lyft wage theft settlement brings attention to labor law violations, it underscores the importance of recognizing the signs. By learning about labor rights, employees can empower themselves to identify these situations and protect their rights.