More startups are being hit with lawsuits from the same lawyer who is stirring up trouble for Uber in the courtroom.
Workers from food delivery companies DoorDash, Caviar and GrubHub sued their employers in California court this week, arguing they have been misclassified as independent contractors and should be employees. The Caviar case was filed in arbitration per the delivery driver’s contract.
The lawyer behind them, Shannon Liss-Riordan, is no stranger to this debate that’s plagued the on-demand startup scene.
Besides leading the case against Uber and these new three, Riordan is pursuing clients’ claims against Lyft, Instacart, Postmates, Shyp, and Washio.
The argument is whether these delivery drivers should be W-2 employees, where companies withhold taxes and offer vacation days, versus independent contractors, a more flexible solution for many that does not offer any protections like unemployment or reimbursement of expenses.
Many startups in the on-demand economy, including heavyweights like Uber, rely on an independent contractor workforce to fuel their business, although that’s something Liss-Riordan would love to change.
The issue is starting to gain steam after the California Labour Commission ruled in June that an Uber driver, who filed a suit against the company for mis-classifying her as an independent contractor, was actually an employee. Several startups, including Shyp, have since re-classified parts of their workforce to W-2 employees so they can offer training and have better service.
DoorDash and Caviar did not respond to request for comment. GrubHub does not comment on pending litigation, according to a spokesperson.
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