Uber Attempts to Settle with Drivers

Aiden Scott

Uber is taking advantage of the multiple cases it has open in an attempt to use its settlement with drivers to vacate a previous ruling which limits the company’s ability to limit lawsuits through mandatory arbitration. In 2014 Judge Edward Chen, who must approve the $100m settlement, ruled that Uber must make it easier for drivers to opt out of arbitration agreements. To Uber’s disdain, he held that “the company must sent drivers an email, with a bold, highlighted opt-out link.”

Uber’s interest in controlling matters of arbitration has lead the company to make the current settlement contingent upon the 2014 order being “wiped from the record.” This has left the Chen in a position of possibly approving a settlement he finds inadequate, because the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco has indicated that “it may allow the company to enforce arbitration agreements prohibiting the vast majority of its drivers from joining class-action lawsuits.” Shannon Liss-Riordan, who represents the drivers in their district court class action suit, has agreed to Uber’s contingency as a favorable appellate court ruling would “dramatically diminish her ability to negotiate modifications to the agreement.”