Uber is appealing U.S. District Judge Edward Chen’s recent ruling that a case against the car-hailing startup can proceed as a class action lawsuit.
This comes as no surprise, given that Uber said it would likely appeal the judge’s decision. When the ruling came out earlier this month, Uber lawyer Ted Boutrous said the case is based on “several key legal errors” and that the company was “likely to pursue an appeal.”
In Uber’s 22-page filing for an appeal, it called Judge Chen’s ruling “manifestly erroneous” and asked the court to reverse the ruling, thereby removing the class action aspect. Here’s a key nugget from the appeal:
Wide variations in workers’ circumstances and schedules based on individual discretion and desire are distinctive features of the new sharing economy—a direct result of the autonomy and independence the workers enjoy. Whether that uniform yet wholly discretionary variability defeats or enables class certification of misclassification claims is an important, recurring and unsettled fundamental issue in this new context. Cf. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. at 2554 (“[A] ‘policy’ of allowing discretion” is “the opposite of a uniform employment practice that would provide . . . commonality”). This Court’s guidance is critically needed for the benefit of district courts, technology companies, and workers alike.
Three Uber drivers initially filed the lawsuit, claiming that they are employees rather contractors, meaning that they should get health benefits and reimbursement for gas and other car expenses.
TechCrunch has reached out to Uber and will update this story if we hear back.