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News from EPI Uber and mandatory arbitration: A lethal combination for the rights of working people

Recent lawsuits, especially the proposed settlements of key Uber and Lyft cases in California, have brought attention to the misclassification of gig economy workers as independent contractors rather than are employees. A critically important and often untold dimension of these settlements is how forced arbitration agreements have undercut the viability of these suits. A recent blog post from UCLA law professor Katherine V.W. Stone details how mandatory arbitration agreements represent a significant road block for drivers bringing lawsuits against Uber in an attempt to gain rights and benefits under existing labor and employment laws.

Stone examines the recently settled Uber litigation in California (O’Connor v. Uber) to illustrate how current arbitration law effectively extinguishes important worker rights. Ultimately, Uber’s use of arbitration clauses could effectively wipe out all class actions brought by drivers against Uber across the nation. To preserver workers’ rights, she recommends that Congress enact the Arbitration Fairness Act, which would remove employment disputes from the Federal Arbitration Act altogether.

Read the full blog post at