A San Francisco federal appeals court says Uber can appeal the class-action status of a lawsuit filed by drivers that challenges their status as independent contractors and argues they should be employees instead.
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday agreed to hear the appeal in June, around the same time the federal suit by Uber drivers is slated to go to trial. However, Uber's lawyers are now seeking to delay it.
In their appeal, the company's lawyers argue that a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Edward Chen granting class-action status to more than 150,000 Uber drivers in California violated federal arbitration rules.
They say nearly all of those drivers agreed not to participate in the class action and to instead arbitrate disputes on an individual basis, but Chen ruled the arbitration clauses were unenforceable, and eventually agreed to expand the class from 8,000 to 150,000 drivers.
"The district court ran roughshod over Uber's arbitration agreements and set this case for an improper class trial," Uber's lawyers argued in their brief, calling the ruling "deeply flawed."