Ride giant Uber recently lost an appeal in France that was brought by a former driver who wanted the terms of employment recognized as a fully-fledged work contract.
Fabien Masson, who is a lawyer for the plaintiff, said that it was a “landmark decision” by ruling in Paris Court of Appeal. This followed a similar court decision last month in Britain which said that Uber should grant workers’ rights to its drivers, and this should the national minimum wage and holiday time, Uber has always maintained that it is only a service provider, which connects people who need a ride with drivers, and this may either be amateurs or professionals, and this depends on the country (Uber is present in 630 cities worldwide).
Uber, which operates in over 60 countries and has intentions of offering shares to the public, later during this year, has always maintained that their drivers are all self-employed. The Paris court ruling specified that the contract between Uber and their former driver was “an employment contract” since the driver already was dependent on his work on the ride-hailing app.
The former driver sued Uber in June 2017, and this was two months after Uber deactivated his account that “deprived him of the possibility to get new reservations”. The court also took note of the fact that the driver had signed a “registration partnership” with Uber which didn’t allow him to choose his clients or set his rates.
Uber, by following these terms of contracts exercised “control” over the driver and actively discouraged him from turning away their would-be clients.
The driver stopped working for Uber in 2016 after he provided around 4,000 trips in two years and sued the company to have his “commercial accord” reclassified as an employment contract. He sought reimbursement for holidays and expenses, in addition to the indemnities for his “undeclared work” and contract termination.
During an initial ruling last year, a French court, in favor of Uber said that its drivers had the freedom to refuse a trip and would not be subjected to any oversight by Uber with respect to the number of hours worked.
The European Court of Justice deemed the US group as a transportation service, that is subjected to the same regulations which govern the traditional taxis and other ride providers.