Uber to pay $20 million to settle fight over driver benefits, pay

Uber to pay $20 million to settle fight over driver benefits, pay

The ride-hailing company Uber will pay $20 million to settle lawsuits filed in the state of California contesting the company's classification of its drivers as independent contractors and not full employees.

Bloomberg News reported Tuesday that attorneys are also seeking $5 million in legal fees from the company.

The settlement comes after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Uber's arbitration agreements, which force drivers who have pay disputes with Uber to settle in neutral arbitration rather than in court, were mostly enforceable.

"Uber has an arbitration clause which it very rigorously enforces," Shannon Liss-Riordan, an attorney for the drivers, told Bloomberg. "It’s a myth that these opt-out provisions in arbitration clauses really make these agreements voluntary."

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A spokesman for the company told Bloomberg that Uber would "continue working hard to improve the quality, security and dignity of independent work."

Spokesman Matt Kallman said Uber is also working to make "the driver experience even better through improvements like in-app tipping, a redesigned driver app, and new rewards programs."

Tuesday's settlement comes months after the company settled for $148 million over claims that it improperly handled a 2016 data breach.

"Uber’s decision to cover up this breach was a blatant violation of the public’s trust," California Attorney General Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraHillicon Valley: House panel advances election security bill | GOP senator targets YouTube with bill on child exploitation | Hicks told Congress Trump camp felt 'relief' after release of Clinton docs | Commerce blacklists five Chinese tech groups Four more states join attorneys general lawsuit to block T-Mobile-Sprint merger Overnight Health Care: Court allows Trump abortion referral ban to take effect | GOP group launches M blitz against 'Medicare for All' | Star GOP lawyer raises constitutional concerns with surprise billing legislation MORE said in September.

"The company failed to safeguard user data and notify authorities when it was exposed. Consistent with its corporate culture at the time, Uber swept the breach under the rug in deliberate disregard of the law," he added.