The state of Florida has taken a position on the ride-hail industry’s recent labor debate. Yesterday, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity decided that former Uber driver Darrin McGillis was an employee of the company, not a contractor as the company contends, and is thus eligible for unemployment insurance.
When McGillis, a Florida resident and a 2010 candidate for state governor, began driving for Uber in November he went after the big money promised by the company’s lucrative UberXL service. He bought a seven-seat Mitsubishi Outlander and was soon ferrying passengers around Miami, collecting UberXL’s higher base fare.
But this past March, McGillis’ Outlander — his primary source of income at the time — was damaged when a passing scooter hit one of its back doors as an Uber passenger exited it. “Uber was crickets when I asked for help,” McGillis told BuzzFeed News.
After several weeks of back-and-forth on email and phone conversations with driver operations staffers in both the local Uber office and later at headquarters, McGillis decided to file for unemployment. “I told them, ‘You guys need to take care of this, you have this so-called insurance,’” he explained. “At that point, I said, ‘You need to buy this SUV from me. I bought this in January to be an Uber XL driver.’ They told me to take it up with Uncle Sam. I said fine, I’ll file unemployment.”
So in the second week of April, McGillis filed a claim against Uber and Rasier LLC — a subsidiary of the company — with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
Read the full story at Florida Agency Classifies Uber Driver As Employee, Says He Is Eligible For Unemployment