Uber drivers in California and Massachusetts recently received an important $100 million settlement from the company that will change many things for those who work for Uber. However, there will also be changes for consumers as the settlement included allowing drivers to now solicit for tips.
Until now Uber has said a tip is not necessary and drivers should not expect one, but now drivers are allowed to ask for tips and place signs in their car saying that tips are not part of the initial Uber fee. It is worth noting that the change is only legal in Uber’s agreement in California and Massachusetts, so Canadian passenger should not see driver solicit for tips.
However, the seeds of change are being sewn and drivers in Canada and beyond are inevitably going to look for parity with their peers in other regions.
“Drivers are increasingly seeking to become employees of Uber and not just freelance independent contractors. Uber understands that giving drivers full employee status would mean offering such things as health insurance, employee benefits, and expenses. To avoid this the company effectively paid off drivers to the tune of $100 million to keep them as independent contractors.
Interestingly, this was in only two US states, California and Massachusetts, which means Uber could face numerous more cases like this around the world. It seems increasingly likely that drivers will eventually win the power struggle and be awarded full employee status. Uber may be valued at $40 billion, but even the ride-sharing giant cannot afford to payout $100 million on a regular basis.”