Gig News: Uber Drivers Claim Uber's Arbitration Policy Violates N.L.R.A.

Jon Weinberg

Jon Weinberg is a student at Harvard Law School.

The Wall Street Journal reports that two Uber drivers have filed claims with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that the company’s arbitration policy violates the National Labor Relations Act.  The drivers are represented by Shannon Liss-Riordan, the lead attorney in the major Uber driver classification suit in federal court in California.  As for this action:

“In the NLRB charges, Ms. Liss-Riordan alleges that Uber requires drivers to waive their rights to join a class action against the company, and that this clause violates the NLRA’s guarantee that workers have a right to engage in concerted, protected activity.”

As Professor Sachs explained, the N.L.R.B. previously “held that an employer commits an unfair labor practice if it requires employees to pursue all employment-related disputes through individual (i.e., not collective or class) arbitration” in D.R. Horton.  While the Fifth Circuit declined to enforce that ruling, the N.L.R.B. later affirmed in Murphy Oil U.S.A. that “workers have an unwaivable right to collectively pursue employment-related claims in either a legal or arbitral forum.”  OnLabor will continue to monitor this action and its implications for workers in the gig economy.

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