Coronavirus: U.S. judge says ordering sick pay could backfire on Uber drivers

The U.S. federal judge signalled providing sick pay to drivers infected with the coronavirus would put them at the risk of losing benefits under feder
...
File photo (REUTERS)
File photo

A federal judge signaled he’s reluctant to order Uber Technologies Inc. to provide sick pay for California drivers infected with the coronavirus because of the risk they’d lose benefits under federal law.

Instead, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen urged the ride-hailing giant to make it easy for drivers to qualify for the sick pay the company is already offering -- even if they don’t have a doctor’s note.

Also check these Vehicles

Find more Cars
Mahindra Ekuv100 (HT Auto photo)
UPCOMING
BatteryCapacity Icon40 kWh Range Icon150 Km
₹ 8.25 - 10 Lakhs
Alert Me When Launched
Mahindra S204 (HT Auto photo)
UPCOMING
₹ 12 Lakhs
Alert Me When Launched
Lexus Ux 300e (HT Auto photo)
UPCOMING
BatteryCapacity Icon 54.3kWh Range Icon400 km
₹ 75 - 85 Lakhs
Alert Me When Launched
Hyundai Kona Electric 2024 (HT Auto photo)
UPCOMING
BatteryCapacity Icon64.8 kWh Range Icon418 Km
₹ 25 Lakhs
Alert Me When Launched
Maruti Suzuki Xl5 (HT Auto photo)
UPCOMING
Engine Icon998 cc FuelType IconPetrol
₹ 5 Lakhs
Alert Me When Launched
Tata Sierra Ev (HT Auto photo)
UPCOMING
BatteryCapacity Icon69 kWh Range Icon420 Km
₹ 25 - 30 Lakhs
Alert Me When Launched

Uber has compensated 1,400 sickened drivers so far for an average sum of $900, according to a lawyer for the company. The drivers’ lawyer has called the company’s policy a “half measure" that doesn’t even provide what’s called for under state law.

Also Read : Coronavirus impact: Uber and Lyft ride fares feel the sting of shelter in place

“I’m sure Uber doesn’t want symptomatic drivers out there," Chen said. He asked lawyers on both sides to “transcend whatever legal arguments" to arrive at a policy “in the interest of the public."

Shannon Liss-Riordan, a lawyer who’s been fighting for years to make Uber and Lyft Inc. change their labor model, contends sick drivers are a public health hazard during the Covid-19 pandemic. Because they are treated as contractors and don’t get benefits, many will have no choice but to work while ill, she said in a complaint.

“If someone has a fever and a cough, those are symptoms of coronavirus," Uber’s lawyer, Theane Evangelis, told Chen. “If you have a note from your doctor saying, ‘I believe you should quarantine,’" she said, “then I think that is sufficient" to get compensation from Uber.

Also Read : Uber urges White House to include gig workers in coronavirus stimulus

Chen pointed to mixed messages in what Uber says it’s doing online, under its frequently asked questions, to help infected drivers, and what its lawyer told him in court.

The judge suggested drivers provide “self-certification" of symptoms to get benefits, and told the lawyers to report their progress to him on Friday after talks overseen by a magistrate judge.

The case is Verhines v. Uber Technologies Inc., 20-cv-01886, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

First Published Date: 02 Apr 2020, 12:24 PM IST
NEXT ARTICLE BEGINS

Check Latest Offers

Please provide your details to get Personalized Offers

Choose city
+91 | Choose city
Choose city

Want to get the best price for your existing car?

Powered by: Spinny Logo
By clicking "View Offers" you Agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy
Dear Name

Please verify your mobile number.

+91 | Choose city
Couldn't verify the OTP.
It's either expired or it's incorrect.