Friday, September 4, 2020

Is Uber An Employer of Uber Drivers?

In the case of Lowman v. Unemployment Comp Bd. of Review, 41 EAP 2018 (Pa. July 24, 2020)(Op. by Donohue, J.) (Saylor, C.J. and Mundy, J., Dissenting), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held, as a matter of first impression, that Uber “controlled and directed the performance of Lowman’s services as a driver-for-hire” and that Mr. Lowman was not engaged in an independently established business.

Essentially, the Court found that the driver's work for Uber was completed within employment with Uber and not as an independent contractor. Uber's argument that the driver was acting in self-employment was rejected.

Some commentators note that this decision may have an impact in personal injury litigation in terms of whether a ride-sharing company can be sued in a motor vehicle accident case as an employer of the defendant driver.

Anyone wishing to review the majority Opinon of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court may click this LINK.

The dissenting Opinion can be viewed HERE.

I send thanks to Attorney Dale Larrimore of the Philadelphia law firm of Larrimore & Farnish, LLP for bringing this case to my attention.

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