Lyft has offered to settle a case against its California drivers for a sum of $US27 million ($36.9 million). The money would allow the company to keep its drivers as contractors, rather than making them employees. Image: AP The case is based on the fact that if Lyft were an actual employer, it would be expected to provide employees with basics like holiday pay and a minimum wage. As it is, the ride-hailing company treats its drivers as contractors, which means it doesn't need to provide any such support.
The case has been brought by California drivers in an attempt to become reclassified as employees. In January, Lyft offered to pay up $US12 million ($16.4 million) to settle the case out of court, which was deemed too little by a US federal judge. Now, the company has upped its offer to $US27 million (36.9 million).
Shannon Liss-Riordan, the lawyer acting on Lyft's behalf, told the Wall Street Journal that the sum would provide Lyft drivers who'd worked for six months with more than $US6000 ($8,186). This new settlement offer will still have to be approved by a California judge.
Uber is currently in the process of trying to settle similar cases in California and Massachusetts. It's offered to pony up $US84 million ($114.9 million) , but recent reports suggest that the settlement could save it as much as $US750 million ($1 billion) compared to reclassifying its drivers as employees.