Uber drivers sue company
Uber considers drivers to be independent operators, but a federal class-action lawsuit filed Friday in Houston charges that the company's grip on them is so extensive that they should be deemed employees.
The suit on behalf of 19 Texas drivers in Dallas, Houston and Austin, if successful, could make drivers Uber staffers and disrupt the ride-calling app's business model, the Houston Chronicle reported. It was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
"Uber tracks every move that a driver makes," Houston lawyer Kevin Michaels told the newspaper. "As long as they are on the app, they are under Uber's control."
The claims are similar to others made in widely publicized lawsuits around the country, including California, Massachusetts and Illinois, that could ultimately drive the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In addition to demanding that drivers be given full-employee status with benefits, the suit asks for back pay of accrued overtime.
As of Friday afternoon, Uber officials had not responded to several requests for comment.