Briefing

Supreme Court rules against Uber’s arbitration clause, setting stage for class action on employee status

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The ride-hailing giant’s contract for drivers requires them to take disputes to mediation in the Netherlands, which costs US$14,500 plus legal fees. The case is linked to an attempt by David Heller, a then-Toronto Uber Eats delivery worker, to launch a class action forcing Uber to recognize drivers as employees under provincial law. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Arbitration clauses are standard for gig-economy platforms—think tanks and mediation professionals’ associations intervening on Uber’s behalf at the SCC argued such uniform terms and conditions are necessary for companies dealing with thousands of individual workers or customers. While Friday’s ruling could impact future contract disputes, it doesn’t make Ontario Uber drivers employees. A provincial court still needs to sign off on Heller’s class action.