Employee or Independent Contractor?

Massachusetts Court Denies Motions to Dismiss AG’s Lawsuit that Sought Ruling that Uber and Lyft Drivers are Employees

Suffolk Superior Court Justice Kenneth W. Salinger issued an order on March 25, 2021 denying Uber and Lyft’s motions challenging the lawsuit brought by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey that seeks a court order requiring Uber and Lyft treat their drivers as employees. Uber and Lyft had made motions to dismiss alleging that the Attorney General’s complaint does not adequately allege that any drivers were denied benefits to which they would be entitled if they were employees, and that there is not an actual controversy about the alleged misclassification. In addition, Uber, but not Lyft, argued that the Attorney General lacks standing to seek declaratory relief. Justice Salinger denied Uber and Lyft’s motions allowing the case to proceed.

The court order can also be found here:

This is the Attorney General’s statement following the court’s order.

BOSTON — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey today issued a statement in response to a decision from Suffolk Superior Court Judge Kenneth W. Salinger denying Uber and Lyft’s motion to dismiss the AG’s lawsuit seeking a court ruling that Uber and Lyft drivers are employees under Massachusetts Wage and Hour Laws.

“Today’s court decision is a major victory in our ongoing fight to support and protect Uber and Lyft drivers from unfair and exploitative practices,” said AG Healey. “The court plainly rejected Uber and Lyft’s latest attempt to deprive their drivers of basic protections that help them earn a living wage, including minimum wage, overtime, and earned sick time. Under our laws, drivers in Massachusetts can have both flexibility and the rights and benefits of employment status. Our case continues as we seek a court order to force Uber and Lyft to comply with laws that are already on the books.”

In the complaint for declaratory judgment, filed in Suffolk Superior Court against Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. in July 2020, AG Healey seeks an order from the court that Uber and Lyft drivers are employees, not independent contractors as the companies have misclassified them. If Uber and Lyft drivers are designated as drivers, it will allow drivers access to critical labor rights and benefits, such as minimum wage, overtime, and earned sick time.

Today’s decision can be found here.

Source: AG Healey Issues Statement in Response to Court Decision Denying Uber and Lyft’s Motion to Dismiss | Mass.gov

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