Earlier in September, The Wall Street Journal reported that another California regulatory agency found an Uber driver to be an employee rather than an independent contractor:
The California Employment Development Department last month ruled that a former driver for Uber acted more like an employee than a contractor because the company controlled “every aspect” of the driving experience and held the right to terminate the driver at will, according to a copy of an administrative judge’s decision. Uber was asked to pay unemployment benefits to the former driver, whose name was withheld from the decision.
According to The Guardian, the California Employment Development Department’s decision was appealed and upheld twice, first by an administrative law judge and then by an Appeals Board. This decision comes after the California Labor Commission separately found another Uber driver was an employee of Uber in June. While neither administrative ruling sets precedent, they were both premised on Uber’s right to control drivers, the operative test at play in a pending class action in California currently before U.S. District Judge Edward Chen and scheduled for a jury trial next year.