September 8, 2015

Andre Morris & Buttery Attorney Kathy Eppright presented her Employment Law seminar “The Uber Effect” to the Human Resources Association of the Central Coast (HRCC) for its monthly professional development meeting September 8 at the Madonna Inn.

In the last six years, there were two million more independent contractors working in California. In “The Uber Effect,” Kathy discussed the issues that arise with the increase in companies using and abusing the classification of independent contractors. As some employers have intentionally misclassified employees as independent contractors as a means to cut costs and avoid compliance with labor laws, California state regulatory bodies have been tightening the current requirements with regard to minimum wage, overtime pay, and time and attendance record-keeping of independent contractors.

In the case of Uber, the company claims itself as a technological platform, not responsible for its drivers, who they classified as independent contractors. The overriding factor to determine employee status under California law is whether the person performing the work is engaged in an occupation or business that is distinct from that of the employer.

Barbara Ann Berwick vs. Uber Technologies is a recent ruling by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement in San Francisco this past summer, where it was ruled that Uber isn’t just a technological platform and that the drivers “are involved in every aspect of the operation.” Uber has filed an appeal. Another case, Douglas O’Connor et al vs. Uber Technologies, is a class action suit currently pending in California District Court.

The HRCC is a network of local Human Resource Professionals, students and company managers responsible for the human resources and personnel functions in their organizations. The HRCC holds professional development meetings to discuss labor relations, legislation, strategic planning options and resources unique to employers doing business on the Central Coast.

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