An Overview of Uber Wage and Hour Claims

by | Jun 22, 2023 | Uber, Uber Wage and Hour Claims

Uber is one of the leading rideshare and delivery companies in the United States. Since companies like Uber and Lyft became societal mainstays, there are increasing questions about how federal labor laws apply to Uber and its drivers.

In recent years, thousands of Uber wage and hour claims have been filed by drivers who feel that they are not being treated fairly under federal labor standards. The conflict involves how drivers are classified – as employees or independent contractors – and what the terms of their employment may be.

At Kherkher Garcia, LLP, our Uber wage and hour claim lawyers are currently exploring how ongoing litigation and changing laws could impact Uber drivers here in Texas. Below, we provide an overview of Uber wage and hour claims, provide examples of recent litigation, and offer help to drivers with questions or concerns.

What are Wage and Hour Laws?

Wage and hour laws are a set of regulations that govern the payment of wages and the working hours of employees. These laws aim to ensure that workers are fairly compensated for their work, protect their rights, and establish standards for minimum wage, overtime pay, and other related matters.

Here is an overview of key aspects of wage and hour laws in the U.S.:

Minimum Wage

Most jurisdictions have laws that establish a minimum wage, which is the lowest hourly rate that employers can legally pay their employees. The minimum wage is typically set by government bodies and may vary based on factors such as geographic location, industry, and employee age or experience. The intention is to prevent exploitative practices and ensure that workers earn a reasonable income.

Overtime Pay

Many wage and hour laws require employers to pay overtime compensation to eligible employees who work more than a specified number of hours in a workweek. Overtime pay is typically set at a higher rate, often 1.5 times the regular hourly wage, to provide additional compensation for the extra hours worked.

Hours of Work

Wage and hour laws may include provisions regarding the maximum number of hours employees can work in a day or week, as well as requirements for rest and meal breaks. These provisions aim to prevent excessive working hours, promote work-life balance, and protect employee health and safety.

Classification of Workers

The classification of workers as either employees or independent contractors is an important aspect of wage and hour laws. Employees are generally entitled to more extensive legal protections and benefits, such as minimum wage, overtime pay, and access to certain benefits, whereas independent contractors are often exempt from these provisions. Proper classification is crucial to ensure that workers receive the appropriate rights and benefits.

Here are some common examples of employees and contractors:

  • Employee: A full-time software engineer who works at a tech company.
  • Contractor: A freelance graphic designer who works with a variety of clients.
  • Employee: A delivery driver who works for a food delivery company.
  • Contractor: A plumber who is hired by a homeowner to fix a leaky faucet.


Wage and hour laws often require employers to maintain accurate records of employees’ hours worked, wages paid, and other relevant information. These records serve as evidence of compliance with the law and can be important for resolving disputes and investigations.

Enforcement and Remedies

Wage and hour laws typically include mechanisms for enforcement and remedies in case of violations. This may involve government agencies responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance, such as labor departments or wage and hour divisions. Remedies for employees who experience wage and hour violations may include back wages, penalties imposed on the employer, and other forms of legal recourse.

Wage and hour laws can be complex and may differ significantly between jurisdictions. Employers are responsible for understanding and complying with the applicable laws in their specific location to ensure fair and legal treatment of their employees. Likewise, employees should be aware of their rights under these laws and take appropriate action if they believe their rights have been violated.

Why are Drivers Filing Uber Wage and Hour Claims?

Uber wage and hour claims refer to legal actions taken against the ride-sharing company Uber regarding alleged violations of labor laws and regulations related to wages and working hours. These claims typically involve Uber drivers who argue that they have been misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees, resulting in various labor law violations.

Here are some common wage and hour claims that have been raised against Uber:

Misclassification of Drivers

Many drivers argue that they should be classified as employees rather than independent contractors. By classifying them as contractors, Uber may avoid providing benefits such as minimum wage, overtime pay, health insurance, and other protections that are typically granted to employees.

Failure to Pay Minimum Wage

Some drivers claim that after factoring in their expenses, such as fuel, maintenance, and other operational costs, their net earnings fall below the minimum wage required by law. They argue that Uber should compensate them for the difference.

Unpaid Overtime

Drivers who work long hours may claim that they are entitled to overtime pay for any hours worked beyond the legally mandated threshold. Independent contractors are not typically eligible for overtime pay, but drivers argue that they should be classified as employees and, therefore, be entitled to these benefits.

Failure to Provide Breaks

Labor laws often require employers to provide rest and meal breaks to employees. Drivers have raised concerns that Uber does not adequately provide them with these breaks, particularly in jurisdictions where such breaks are legally mandated.

Expense Reimbursement

Some drivers argue that Uber should reimburse them for the expenses they incur while operating as drivers, such as fuel costs, vehicle maintenance, insurance, and tolls. They claim that these expenses should be borne by the employer.

These claims vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific laws in place. It’s worth noting that the legal classification of Uber drivers as independent contractors or employees is a complex and contentious issue, with different rulings and interpretations in different jurisdictions. Laws and regulations regarding gig economy workers are evolving, and there is ongoing debate about the rights and protections they should be afforded.

Uber Class Action Lawsuits

Lawsuits have recently been filed against Uber in federal courts in Arizona, Florida, New York, Ohio, New Jersey, California, and Texas. The class action lawsuit in California was settled in July, 2022 for $8.4 million. Under the terms of the settlement, Uber agreed to pay out a total of $8.4 million to the class of drivers. The amount each driver receives will vary depending on the number of miles they drove while using the Uber or Uber Eats apps.

The drivers alleged that the company had misclassified them as independent contractors instead of employees. This misclassification allegedly violated California law, which requires employers to provide certain benefits to their employees, such as minimum wage, overtime pay, and paid sick leave.

The settlement does not reclassify Uber drivers as employees. However, it does require Uber to provide certain new benefits to drivers, such as a guaranteed minimum wage and paid sick leave.

The Uber wage class action is a significant victory for drivers who have been fighting for better pay and benefits. The settlement provides much-needed financial relief to drivers, and it also sets a precedent for other lawsuits that are challenging the classification of app-based workers.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the Uber wage class action:

  • Uber drivers were misclassified as independent contractors instead of employees.
  • This misclassification violated California law.
  • Uber agreed to pay $8.4 million to settle the lawsuit.
  • The settlement does not reclassify Uber drivers as employees.
  • However, it does require Uber to provide certain new benefits to drivers, such as a guaranteed minimum wage and paid sick leave.

The Uber wage class action is a reminder that app-based workers have rights, and they should not be treated as independent contractors when they are clearly employees. The settlement is a victory for drivers, and it sets a precedent for other lawsuits that are challenging the classification of app-based workers.

When Should a Driver Call an Uber Wage and Hour Claim Lawyer?

An Uber driver should consider reaching out to an attorney specializing in wage and hour issues if they believe that their rights as an employee or independent contractor have been violated and they are experiencing problems related to their wages and working hours.

As a reminder, the attorneys at Kherkher Garcia can help you with wage and hour claims involving:

  • Misclassification
  • Wage Disputes
  • Overtime Violations
  • Break or Meal Violations
  • Wrongful Termination
  • Retaliation

Contact us to learn more about your legal rights and potential options to fight back against the injustice of wage and hour violations. Call us at 713-333-1030, or complete our online form to learn more.

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Steve Kherkher

Steve Kherkher

Founding Partner and Trial Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Injury Trial Lawyer and Founding Firm Partner Steve Kherkher. Steve has been a practicing injury lawyer for more than 30 years. He has won $300 Million+ in Settlements and Verdicts for his clients. He is a force to be reckoned with in the courtroom and the trial lawyer you want on your side if you or a loved one have been catastrophically injured.

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