The Uber ridesharing service is synonymous with the rise of mobile application-based services. This business model has spurred a number of novel legal questions, particularly surrounding the proper identification of Uber drivers. Are they employees, guaranteed the ample protections and workers' rights under California law? Or independent contractors, less subject to employer control, but without the same protections the State provides to employees? With the proliferation of these types of services, answering this question is of critical importance, both to current Uber drivers as well as the countless others who will enter this rapidly-developing field in the coming years. This Article provides an answer to that question by applying longstanding California employment law to the Uber model with the aim of properly and accurately characterizing its drivers as legally-recognized employees.
Benjamin Powell, Identity Crisis: The Misclassification of California Uber Drivers, 50 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 459 (2017).