A settlement between the taxi-hailing app Uber and a few of its drivers has been rejected by a US choose.
The $100m (£75m) deal had been agreed after authorized motion on behalf of round 385,000 Uber drivers, who claimed that they need to be classed as workers and entitled to bills.
Nonetheless, a San Francisco judge has ruled that the settlement was “not honest, ample or cheap”.
Uber mentioned the choice was disappointing.
“The settlement, mutually agreed by each side, was honest and cheap. We’re disenchanted on this choice and are having a look at our choices,” the corporate mentioned.
Below the settlement, Uber had agreed to pay the drivers, primarily based in California and Massachusetts, $84m initially.
They might then obtain one other $16m if the corporate determined to go public and its valuation elevated one-and-a-half instances from its December 2015 valuation throughout the first yr.
Crucially for Uber, it meant the drivers had been nonetheless labeled as contractors and never workers.
The corporate has launched coverage adjustments because of the case – agreeing to create and fund a driver’s affiliation in each states, in addition to offering them with extra details about why a driver might have been “deactivated”, in addition to piloting an appeals course of.
On the time of the settlement, the lawyer representing the drivers said it was an “historic” agreement and “one of many largest ever achieved on behalf of staff claiming unbiased contractor misclassification”.
Evaluation: Dave Lee, North America expertise reporter
The irritating factor for Uber is that it thought it had happy everybody.
However a choose disagreed – taking concern with a settlement that got here with strings that should not have been connected, reminiscent of a stipulation that a number of the settlement cash would solely be paid out if Uber’s valuation rose above a sure degree, if and when it floats on the inventory market.
Nonetheless, you do not want a crystal ball to know the way this one goes to be resolved. Uber will remedy this prefer it solves all of its issues: by throwing extra money at it. That labored for ride-sharing rival Lyft who, after dealing with a lawsuit of its personal over the identical concern, merely doubled its supply when a choose initially mentioned no.
I can not see the worker/contractor row being an ongoing downside for Uber.
When this case first arose I spent the day chatting to Uber drivers ready for punters arriving at San Francisco airport.
Amongst them, I did not discover any drivers who needed to be thought of workers fairly than contractors, as the flexibleness they felt it gave them made the lack of worker advantages a worthwhile sacrifice.