Another lawsuit against Uber

Hard to keep track of them all.


A former San Antonio-area driver for Uber has filed a class-action lawsuit against the ride-hailing company, alleging it pays drivers less than minimum wage, makes them eat expenses it should pay for and misleads users into thinking they do not have to tip drivers.

David Micheletti is among a growing number of drivers to accuse the San Francisco-based company, which matches riders with drivers through a smart-phone application, of shorting their paychecks by treating them as independent contractors instead of employees.

Micheletti filed his suit weeks ago in state district court in Bexar County, but Uber denied the allegations and moved it this month to federal court.

The suit seeks to be certified as a class-action for other drivers with similar claims as Micheletti. His attorney, Marie Napoli of New York, said she has a handful of similar class-action lawsuits in other cities where Uber operates, and they might end up being consolidated in multidistrict litigation with others filed around the country.

“This case is about one thing: Thousands of hard-working drivers struggling to get by while Uber, a company valued at more than $50 billion, exploits them to bolster its bottom line,” the lawsuit said.

Uber responded to inquiries about the suit with a statement that said, “Driver-partners are independent contractors who use Uber on their own terms: they control their use of the app.


The suit said Uber pays its drivers weekly, taking 20 percent and leaving drivers with the remaining 80 percent. Micheletti made $500 to $600 per week and incurred $100 to $200 in expenses like gas, tolls, lease payments and car repairs, the suit said.

So, after expenses, he made about $5 an hour, or $2.25 less than minimum wage, the suit said. It also said Uber misappropriated money from driver’s fares, including $1 from each fare to pay for background checks, driver safety education and safety features in its mobile application, which Micheletti believes Uber should pay, not the drivers.

The suit said Uber fails to honor its financial commitment to drivers. For instance, it’s supposed to compensate drivers $6 for each canceled fare. But in Micheletti’s case, he was only compensated for 20 canceled fares but not paid for more than 70 others.

Micheletti claims Uber told him he would get a credit card that gave him discounts on gas once he completed 20 fares, but he never received the card. He also alleges Uber misleads drivers regarding the amount of money they can earn — up to $20 an hour in fares at certain peak times. He never made anywhere near that, the suit said.

There have been multiple lawsuits filed against Uber, here in Texas and elsewhere. I don’t know if this one will be folded into the other class action lawsuit over how Uber classifies its drivers are independent contractors, but I won’t be surprised if other drivers join in. We’ll see how it goes.

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