2 California judges say juries will decide if Uber, Lyft drivers are contractors or employees

Industrials Associated Press

Two San Francisco federal judges say juries will have to decide whether former drivers for Uber and Lyft were independent contractors, or employees of the ride-hailing companies with all of the protections and benefits the state affords regular workers.

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The rulings have potentially expensive ramifications for Uber and Lyft.

Two former Lyft drivers and four Uber drivers have filed two separate lawsuits alleging that they were misclassified as independent contractors by the companies and thus deprived of California's minimum wage, reimbursement for work-related expenses, and other protections. The plaintiffs seek class-action status.

Lyft and Uber dispute the claims and sought summary judgments against the plaintiffs.

But the judges said Wednesday only a jury could decide the issues because evidence could sway a reasonable jury in either direction.