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Vehicles & Work Driving

Has the arrival of Uber generated any employment law issues in Canada?

Jurisdiction: - Ontario
Sector: - Local Government

In two posts on June 17, 2015, I noted that the California Labor Commission had ruled that an Uber driver was an employee not a contractor, and thus entitled to be reimbursed for her driving related expenses.

I am not aware of any similar Uber "employee / contractor" cases in Canada. However, Uber's arrival in this country has sparked at least one employment law "debate" that played out in Toronto in April and May of this year.

On April 2, 2015, City of Toronto Councillor Jim Karygiannis (Ward 39, Scarborough-Agincourt) announced that he intended to introduce a motion to remove the Uber app from City owned smartphones issued to employees. This is the news release that he issued:

Karygiannis expects to introduce Council Motion to remove Uber application from City-owned smartphones

TORONTO - Jim Karygiannis, Councillor for Ward 39, Scarborough-Agincourt, expects to introduce a Motion at the May City Council Meeting, with respect to removing the Uber application from City-owned smartphone devices.  read more »

Uber appealing California Labor Commission's ruling that driver was an employee, not contractor

Jurisdiction: - United States
Sector: - Transportation

">Uber posted this statement on its blog today (June 17, 2015) in response to the California Labor Commission's ruling that a driver was an employee, not a contractor, and thus entitled to be reimbursed for driving related expenses:

"Reuters' original headline was not accurate. The California Labor Commission's ruling is non-binding and applies to a single driver. Indeed it is contrary to a previous ruling by the same commission, which concluded in 2012 that the driver 'performed services as an independent contractor, and not as a bona fide employee.' Five other states have also come to the same conclusion. It's important to remember that the number one reason drivers choose to use Uber is because they have complete flexibility and control. The majority of them can and do choose to earn their living from multiple sources, including other ride sharing companies. We have appealed this ruling."