The legal battles in which Uber and the rest of ride-sharing companies are entangled in can greatly hamper the expansion of these companies. In fact, these legal battles can easily exhaust the resources of these companies in the long run. In the US alone, there are myriads of lawsuits filed against Uber. Likewise, in other countries where Uber has expanded and has gained a foothold, like in India and China, there are some serious legal obstacles as to its operations. In India, for example, Uber has been reeling from the onslaught of a rape charge filed by one of its passengers against an Uber driver. In China, likewise, the operation of Uber is in great peril, and it faces stiff competitions from Didi Dachi and Kuaidi Dache. It seems that the odds are stacked against Uber anywhere it goes. Yet, it is still flourishing and is obviously afloat despite these setbacks.
In the United States, for example, a lawsuit was filed against Uber over the issues of misrepresentation of safety, lack of standardization in the checking of the background of its drivers, and accusations about overcharges of customers. Lyft, likewise, got similar lawsuit, but had it settled with the prosecutors by agreeing to abide by the rules. However, Lyft was fined a hefty sum of half a million dollars in such lawsuit. In-house, both Uber and Lyft are facing landmark lawsuits regarding the status of their drivers. The premise of the lawsuit hinges on whether the drivers of both services are considered “employees” and not “contractors.” The outcomes of these lawsuits can greatly shake up the schematic business model of both companies, because both companies rely heavily on their drivers for the continuous expansions of their business. Both companies consider their drivers as falling under the category of “independent contractors.” Drivers, on the other hand, carry the argument that they seem to fall under the category of “employees.” Drivers got limitations in their profits which readily make them fall under the category of “employees.” However, they got also freedom which regular employees can’t readily enjoy.
The outcomes of these class-action lawsuits may boil down to what the more plausible arguments are. Likewise, the outcomes of these lawsuits may require a redefinition and clarification of the concept of the term “employee.” The decisions on both cases may establish precedence on how succeeding future lawsuits against both companies will be decided upon. Additionally, the outcomes of these external and internal lawsuits can either hamper or further strengthen the continuous progress and expansion of both companies.
Uber and Lyft are aggressively advertising themselves to gain more customers. Say, for instance, Uber has its Uber promo coupons and Lyft has its Lyft Credit Codes which are designed to entice prospective customers to try and avail of their services.
For most commuters, the emergence of Uber and Lyft is a welcome relief that readily provides them with good commuting alternatives. However, commuters can only hope that the legal battles in which both Uber and Lyft are presently enmeshed can be surmounted and done away with.