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TechnologyWhat is Uber's "usual course" of business? Much rides on answer

14:41  14 september  2019
14:41  14 september  2019 Source:   qz.com

Uber is testing an all-in-one subscription for rides, food delivery, bikes, and scooters

Uber is testing an all-in-one subscription for rides, food delivery, bikes, and scooters $24.99 a month for discounted rides and free food delivery

In 2012, Uber ' s then-CEO Travis Kalanick lamented, "Every city we go to, eventually the regulators will make something up to keep us from rolling out or The drivers, West argues, perform work that "is outside the usual course of business " because Uber "is serving as a technology platform for several

“ Uber is grasping at straws,” Ms. Liss-Riordan said of Uber ’ s argument that it did not need to reclassify its drivers. If she were to prevail, Uber could be He alluded to “several previous rulings” finding that drivers perform a task that is “outside the usual course of Uber ’ s business ” — suggesting the

The job of an Uber driver is to provide rides. Is that outside the usual course of business for Uber, a ride-hail company?

What is Uber's © Provided by Atlantic Media, Inc. Uber drivers honk in solidarity.

The question may seem absurd to anyone who’s used Uber, but it’s vitally important under a 2018 decision from California’s highest court, codified in a bill passed this week by the state’s senate. The fate of the gig economy could turn on that question.

The gig economy relies on a simple arbitrage: Hire workers as independent contractors through online platforms to avoid the costs of traditional employment. To treat workers as actual employees would require gig-economy companies, many of which bleed cash, to fork over millions more in payroll taxes and workers’ compensation, and force them to comply with local minimum-wage laws.

Uber intends to treat drivers as contractors despite California bill

Uber intends to treat drivers as contractors despite California bill California is likely on the cusp of making gig companies treat independent contractors as employees, but Uber doesn't think the potential law will change its business. In an update, legal chief Tony West maintained that Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) would let the ridesharing company continue to classify drivers as contractors if and when it becomes law. Uber wouldn't be exempt from AB5, the company claimed -- rather, it expected to pass the test that determined drivers' status, keeping them as contractors.

"Drivers’ work is outside the usual course of Uber ’ s business , which is serving as a technology The answer seems pretty obvious to those who know the company best. Regarding the idea that Uber is That makes recognizing Uber ' s drivers as an essential part of the company all the more important.

Uber said Wednesday that it was confident that its drivers will retain their independent status when the measure goes into effect on Jan. 1. “Several previous rulings have found that drivers’ work is outside the usual course of Uber ’ s business , which is serving as a technology platform for several different

Both the court decision and California’s bill outlined a new legal test that makes it harder for companies to classify workers as contractors. The test has three parts, of which the toughest—and the point on which many gig companies are expected to fail—is the question of whether the worker performs work outside the “usual course” of the company’s business.

To the average person, the answer in Uber’s case is probably a resounding no. Uber drivers give rides to Uber passengers and deliver food to Uber Eats customers. Uber isn’t Uber without them.

But Uber sees it differently. “Several previous rulings have found that drivers’ work is outside the usual course of Uber’s business, which is serving as a technology platform for several different types of digital marketplaces,” Uber chief legal officer Tony West said this week.

Uber awaits renewal decision on vital London license, just five days before expiry

  Uber awaits renewal decision on vital London license, just five days before expiry Uber awaits renewal decision on vital London license, just five days before expiryTransport for London (TfL) rejected the Silicon Valley company's license renewal request in 2017 due to failings it said it found in its approach to reporting serious criminal offences and driver background checks, prompting legal action.

Assembly Bill 5, which would force Uber , Lyft and other gig-economy companies to treat workers as (B): The worker is performing work that falls "outside the hiring entity' s usual course or type of That would mean much higher prices on rides in the state, as well as a potential slowdown in work for

hiring entity’ s usual course of business or if you have an own independent business beyond the job they Lyft cofounder and president John Zimmer and Uber ’ s Khosrowshahi have both said it would increases of 20-30% for each ride share service, a cost that ’ll inevitably be passed along to consumers.

We’ve heard this before. Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick always said Uber wasn’t a rides company, but a “technology platform that connects riders and drivers.” The description played better to venture capitalists (technology platforms, so much sexier than rides companies!) and also gave Uber a handy legal defense for the employment classification claims that dogged it.

The California bill was a progressive win, but it is far from the end. Uber, no stranger to protracted legal fights, won’t relinquish its labor model easily. And while the conversation has come far, it is also right back where it began.

This essay was originally published in the weekend edition of the Quartz Daily Brief newsletter. Sign up for it here.

Read More

Uber lays off employees from Eats, self-driving cars and other teams .
Uber has cut around 350 more employees across several of its divisions. The company said it's the "last wave of a process" that saw layoffs in marketing, then product and engineering over the last few months. This time around, Uber has laid off members of the Eats, performance marketing, Advanced Technologies Group (the self-driving cars unit) and recruiting departments, along with its global rides and platform teams. In total, the job cuts account for around one percent of Uber's workforce.

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