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NLRB: Uber Drivers are Independent Contractors

Contractor vs Employee

Uber drivers are independent contractors, not employees, the National Labor Relations Board's general counsel said in a memorandum issued May 14.

This understanding makes it harder for drivers as they attempt to demand higher pay and better working conditions.

According to industry experts, Uber's labor costs probably would rise 20 to 30 percent if courts treated the drivers as employees.

Uber and Lyft both lost money last year, causing investors to suggest the companies slash labor costs to reach profitability, while at the same time drivers complain that pay is already too low.

You can read the New York Times analysis of this decision here.

Reminder: California Has Different Rules!

Keep in mind, for employers in California, that the newly-adopted "ABC" test for determining if a worker is an employee or a contractor may supersede this NLRB memo.


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  • NLRB: Uber Drivers are Independent Contractors

    The National Labor Relations Board's general counsel said in a memorandum that Uber drivers are independent contractors, not employees. But keep in mind that in some states, including California, other laws and tests may outweigh this decision.

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