Following a New York State investigation on wage theft, on November 2nd, Uber and Lyft agreed on a settlement that would pay out drivers $328 million to settle wage theft allegations in New York state.
For Lyft Drivers: The Office of the New York State Attorney General negotiated a settlement with Lyft that creates a $38 million settlement fund. You may be eligible for payments if you drove for Lyft between October 11, 2015, and July 31, 2017, and had deductions taken for New York sales tax and Black Car Fund fees.
Lyft must provide drivers with new benefits like sick leave, payment, training, and job support. These benefits are expected to begin no later than February 29, 2024. Drivers will be able to access these benefits through the Lyft driver app.
For Uber Drivers: The Office of the New York State Attorney General negotiated a settlement with Uber that creates a $290 million settlement fund. Drivers may be eligible for payments if they drove for Uber between November 10, 2014, and May 22, 2017, and had deductions taken for New York sales tax and Black Car Fund fees.
Uber will be required to provide drivers with new benefits like sick leave, payment, training, and job support. Drivers will also be notified how much a rider has paid after each ride. These benefits are expected to begin no later than February 29, 2024. Drivers will be able to access these benefits through the Uber driver app.
Both Uber and Lyft will be required to pay drivers for up to one hour that they spend viewing and completing training materials. Drivers will be paid the higher of the following: $15 per hour or the lowest minimum wage rate.
How do I appeal deactivations with Uber and Lyft?
Both companies will provide in-app chat support for drivers in English, Spanish, Chinese and other languages so they can easily ask questions about their earnings or other work conditions. In addition, drivers will now be able to appeal all deactivations directly from the Uber and Lyft platforms. The details are currently being ironed out.
How do I get my Uber/Lyft settlement money?
The Settlement is administered by an outside company Rust Consulting. Drivers can contact Rust Consulting if they have questions regarding the process of driver payments or settlement specifics.
If you are a Lyft driver, you can reach them at 1-800-433-5314 or info@LyftNYAGSettlement.com.
If you are a Uber driver, you can reach them at 1-800-625-2332 or info@UberNYAGSettlement.com.
Do UberEats drivers get money from the settlement?
How much is the Uber/Lyft lawsuit payout? How much is that per person?
Overall the amount is $328 million. Each driver’s payout would be determined by the number of hours and days they worked.
Who is eligible for the payout?
If you completed at least one trip using the Lyft app between October 11, 2015, and July 31, 2017, you may qualify. Also, if you completed at least one trip using the Uber app between November 10, 2014, through May 22, 2017, you may qualify. The Attorney General is still working with Lyft and Uber to create a more detailed list of drivers who may qualify.
Drivers will be able to file a claim online beginning no later than February 29, 2024. The settlement fund should be fully funded by November 2025. Distributions will be made through 2025.
What was happening with the deactivations? Why did that happen?
Under the current guidelines at Uber and Lyft, a driver could be deactivated for a variety of reasons, such as vehicle issues, failed background checks, fraud, discrimination, harassment, or poor ratings. Uber states that, when possible, they will alert a driver if they are at risk of deactivation. However, drivers claim the company often deactivates accounts without prior warning, something Uber has admitted to in the past.
Once deactivated, drivers can directly plead their case with either Lyft or Uber, but without an independent third party or any legal representation, many drivers say they don’t stand a chance of winning their jobs back.
What are the differences between an employee and an independent contractor?
The distinction between an employee relationship and an independent contractor relationship “depends primarily on the level of supervision, direction, and control exercised by the person engaging the services,” the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) writes.
NYSDOL maintains that Uber drivers and couriers are employees for purposes of unemployment insurance, while Uber maintains that they are independent contractors. “Regardless of the characterization of employment status, NYSDOL and Uber agree that drivers and couriers eligible for unemployment benefits should receive them,” according to Governor Kathy Hochul’s office.
For more questions on filing a claim, Lyft drivers can reach Rust Consulting at 1-800-433-5314 or info@LyftNYAGSettlement.com. Uber drivers can reach them at 1-800-625-2332 or info@UberNYAGSettlement.com.