back to article Uber, Lyft to hand back $328M of stolen wages to NY drivers

Uber and Lyft will hand over $328 million in back pay to more than 100,000 New York drivers, the state's Attorney General Letitia James announced on Thursday. The settlements mark an end to multi-year probes launched by the Office of the New York State Attorney General that found both companies unlawfully withheld wages from …

  1. theOtherJT Silver badge

    We're not a taxi firm...

    ...we're a "disruptive ride sharing business!"

    Fuck. Off.

    You're a taxi company. The more they're forced to actually start obeying the law as it applies to taxis the better it will be for everyone. Since they started they have just been trying to claim that just because they look like a duck, walk like a duck, quack like a duck, that they're actually a small, off duty, czechoslovakian traffic warden. It's bullshit. You're a taxi firm. Start obeying the law as it applies to god damn taxis - and treat your employees as such!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Taxi or ride share is my very last option

    However, I prefer to give my business to a genuine cab driver.

    Stuff these “disruptive” a-holes.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This new learning amazes me Sir Bedevere. Explain to me again how you steal three hundred and twenty eight million dollars, and completely avoid prison?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Steal a hundred and you're a thief, steal a hundred million and you're a finance genius.

      It seems to be the principle the finance markets and, by extension, every business they invest in, is based on

    2. EricB123 Bronze badge

      Easy!

      "how you steal three hundred and twenty eight million dollars, and completely avoid prison?"

      Easy! You just need to have some shell company which has access to investor money (read 'profitability optional') and hobnob with the politicians.

      Seriously, kudos to the attorney general's office!

    3. ChoHag Silver badge

      $328m is just what they have to give back.

  4. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    ""This is a win for drivers, and one we are proud to have achieved with the New York Attorney General's Office," Lyft's Chief Policy Officer Jeremy Bird told The Register in a statement."

    After being sued. Let's not forget that small unimportant minor and inconsequential detail.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      I'm proud that my six-year-old granddaughter and I could together achieve her going to bed at night. It required a sustained effort but in the end we triumphed.

  5. Cliffwilliams44 Silver badge

    Independent but not really independent

    Here is the problem with this business model.

    Uber and Lyft want to view the drives as contractors. So, as contractors, they would be responsible for the cost of any Health/Disability insurance payments, and the remittance of sales taxes. As true independent contractors they would also be able to set their own prices, prices that would offset these payments. In reality they cannot set their own prices as I understand it. So, therefor they are NOT true independent contractors.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Independent but not really independent

      Surely not in this case. The transaction between the customer and the taxi firm is done by Uber/Lyft. That means they are their customers (not the drivers') and they have the legal contract with said customers. Thus sales tax should be levied on that transaction. And I can't fucking believe any accountant could say anything else. And they should be prosecuted for fraud, and their auditors should also have picked up on this and should be fined for professional negligence.

      I've no idea how the levy for drivers works. So don't know if that's also an obvious slam-dunk.

      But the sales tax thing is quite extraordinary!

      Apart from anything else, if the transaction was truly the other way round, the driver was actually a real contractor, and the customer was paying the driver - and then Uber/Lyft took a cut from said driver then Uber/Lyft wouldn't owe any sales tax to the government. Sales tax isn't like VAT. You don't levy it on business-to-business transactions and then reclaim it, you just never pay it. Makes the paperwork easier, but also makes it easier to defraud the system. So the system would then work, driver bills customer, adds sales tax and passes on to government. Then pays cut to Uber/Lyft.

      So I'm totally astonished how they could get away with this obvious fraud for so long. Particularly as the norm in the US is to show prices without sales tax included, and people just get used to everything being 6-10% more expensive when tney come to pay for it.

  6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    sick pay...of 56 hours per year.

    "They will earn one hour of sick pay for every 30 hours on the job and can collect a maximum of 56 hours per year."

    How...umm...very generous of them :-(

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: sick pay...of 56 hours per year.

      Never compare US employee rights with European ones, it looks a bit too communist for them.

  7. Groo The Wanderer Bronze badge

    As far as I'm concerned, Uber, Lyft, and most of the "ride sharing" services are just taxi services that refuse to follow the regulations for safe taxi drivers, including Class 1 licenses in Saskatchewan, Canada. Their whole business model is based on breaking the law in any way they can get away with to skim profits. They tried; they didn't get away with it this time. I don't see any executives getting locked up for it, though...

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