In November 2015, Keller Rohrback L.L.P began investigating the ridesharing companies’ employment policies and the misclassification of drivers as independent contractors. Under the present system, Uber and Lyft shift business expenses such as gas and vehicle maintenance to their workers without providing the benefits of employment, such as guaranteed minimum wage and worker’s compensation.
In December, on the eve of the historic Seattle City Council vote on whether drivers would be allowed to unionize, Uber responded to the public records request by suing King County and Keller Rohrback L.L.P. in an attempt to suppress the information. The following Monday, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to become the first city to grant Uber and Lyft drivers collective bargaining rights.
On January 19, 2016, the King County Superior Court denied motions for preliminary injunction filed by Raiser, an entity that licenses Uber’s technology, and Lyft, which sought to prevent the public disclosure of the number of licenses that have been issued to Uber and Lyft drivers in Seattle.
“We are very pleased that the court has recognized the importance of making these types of records available to the general public and to elected officials,” said Steve Ross, a Keller Rohrback attorney. “Government officials and the public deserve to have this information as they consider the many important and dynamic transportation issues facing our region.”
In her order denying Uber’s and Lyft’s motions, Judge Barbara Mack states:
“The court finds that neither Raiser nor Lyft has established a likelihood of succeeding on the merits of its claim that the information requested by Keller Rohrback is exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act, or that the disclosure is not clearly in the public interest, or that disclosure would substantially and irreparably damage either Raiser or Lyft.”
If you are an Uber or Lyft driver and would like to learn more about your rights, contact attorneys Steve Ross or David Copley at (800) 776-6044, or via email at , to learn more about the Keller Rohrback L.L.P. investigation.