Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Uber Nemesis, Shannon Liss-Riordan, Could Take Down the Gig Economy

We've had a few posts on her, some links below.
From ZeroHedge, Sept. 12:

This $586.56 San Francisco Lawsuit Could Destroy The Entire 'Gig Economy'
When Raef Lawson filed his $586.56 lawsuit in San Francisco he probably didn't realize he could potentially end up disrupting the entire 'gig economy' that subsidizes a plethora of Silicon Valley tech giants from Uber to DoorDash, but that could very well end up being the outcome.

As Yahoo points out today, Lawson used to be a delivery driver for GrubHub but now he finds himself at the epicenter of an ongoing legal battle over whether 1099 contractors working for firms GrubHub and Uber should really be counted at employees rather than independent contractors.
In a windowless, 15th-floor courtroom in downtown San Francisco last week, GrubHub was defending its 1099 independent contractor employment model for its delivery drivers.

There's no verdict yet, and there probably won't be for at least another week. This trial, Lawson vs. GrubHub, is looking to determine whether or not plaintiff Raef Lawson, an ex-GrubHub driver, was misclassified as an independent contractor while delivering food for GrubHub.

Lawson's lawyer, Shannon Liss-Riordan (pictured below), has spent a good chunk of time in this trial focusing on the amount of control she perceived GrubHub to have over Lawson during the time he delivered food for them. She's trying to prove that Lawson's employment met the conditions of the Borello test, which looks at circumstances like whether the work performed is part of the company’s regular business, the skill required, payment method and whether the work is done under supervision of a manager. The purpose of the test is to determine whether a worker is a 1099 contractor or a W-2 employee.
Of course, the entire business model for companies like Uber hangs in the balance as adding 1,000s of employees to their own payrolls would drastically change, if not completely destroy, their business model. ...MORE 
Possibly also of interest:
Meet the Lawyer Taking on Uber and the Rest Of the On-demand Economy

She's pretty good at this. In the FedEx case a couple years ago Liss-Riordan got the judge to totally reject FDX's argument: that the defendent
 ...manages a "sophisticated information and distribution network" but doesn't directly provide delivery services...
FedEx settled for $228 million and had to give the newly classified employees a hearty "Welcome aboard".

Lyft, Drivers Settle One of Many Employee Classification Lawsuits
As Three More New Economy Companies Are Sued For Employee Misclassification, Uber Thinks It Has the Golden Ticket
Lawyer in Uber Class Action Says They Want to Take the Case National
California Labor Commission Rules Uber Drivers Are Employees, NOT Independent Contractors
Uber: Judge Certifies Class Action Status For California Drivers

There are more but you get the idea: big money and changing the nature of the game.