As we previously reported, Uber is currently involved in a knock-down-drag-out, multi-billion dollar class action over, among other things, its classification of its drivers as independent contractors as opposed to employees. One of the major developments in the class’s favor was a ruling by the trial court that drivers who had signed contracts which contained an arbitration provision could be included in the class. Reportedly, Uber has moved swiftly to strengthen its arbitration provision going forward: “Uber on Friday sent all its drivers nationwide a new, 21-page legal agreement that bars them from participating in class action lawsuits against the company and instead requires them to enter into arbitration in the case of disputes.”
The class recently attempted to block the new agreement, however. According to lawyers representing the class, “[b]y distributing these revised agreements this morning, two days after the court’s ruling, Uber was obviously trying to undercut the court’s decision on Wednesday that its arbitration agreement was illegal and unenforceable.” According to representatives of Uber, “the new driver agreement was necessary because on Wednesday U.S. District Judge Edward Chen ruled that part of the agreement Uber drivers had been signing was not enforceable, rendering the entire agreement unenforceable.”
Additionally, “the company said the new agreement is not meant to keep current California drivers from joining the lawsuit.” The new agreement still makes it illegal for Uber to retaliate against any driver that opted out of arbitration.
Apparently, drivers can opt out of the new agreement by sending a letter or email to firstname.lastname@example.org and continuing to drive for Uber.