Independent Contractor vs Employee

Goom

Well-Known Member
I was just reading some of the post from other threads and wanted some open discussion. Specifically, when Uber forces Select or XL drivers to pick up X requests. I know I have been guilty of being put in timeout for rejecting too many X request.

So the question really is... if Uber can dictate who you should provide service to and penalize if you don't, are you really working as an Independent Contractor?

I looked at the IRS definition (https://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Smal...ependent-Contractor-Self-Employed-or-Employee):

Common Law Rules
Facts that provide evidence of the degree of control and independence fall into three categories:

  1. Behavioral: Does the company control or have the right to control what the worker does and how the worker does his or her job?
  2. Financial: Are the business aspects of the worker’s job controlled by the payer? (these include things like how worker is paid, whether expenses are reimbursed, who provides tools/supplies, etc.)
  3. Type of Relationship: Are there written contracts or employee type benefits (i.e. pension plan, insurance, vacation pay, etc.)? Will the relationship continue and is the work performed a key aspect of the business?
Behavioral control refers to facts that show whether there is a right to direct or control how the worker does the work. A worker is an employee when the business has the right to direct and control the worker. The business does not have to actually direct or control the way the work is done – as long as the employer has the right to direct and control the work.

On #1, the answer is yes. Uber dictates or controls what we do. It tells us to pick up X even if you are Select or XL. An IC may have the option to decline without penalty, but in this case, you are penalized for not doing so. Another question would be surge manipulation. Doesn't Uber manipulate surges to control where they want the drivers to be? It may be slim, but its still a function of control.


Evaluation System
If an evaluation system measures the details of how the work is performed, then these factors would point to an employee. Does the star rating here determine how work is performed?

If the evaluation system measures just the end result, then this can point to either an independent contractor or an employee.


Training
If the business provides the worker with training on how to do the job, this indicates that the business wants the job done in a particular way. This is strong evidence that the worker is an employee. Periodic or on-going training about procedures and methods is even stronger evidence of an employer-employee relationship. However, independent contractors ordinarily use their own methods.
Doesnt Uber deactivate you and force you to do customer service training when your rating is below 4.6?

I guess my point is, is putting us on timeout for rejecting other requests lawful under the "Independent Contractor" that Uber claims we all are?
 

docswife

Well-Known Member
I guess my point is, is putting us on timeout for rejecting other requests lawful under the "Independent Contractor" that Uber claims we all are?
I'm grateful that they lowered the "timeout" from 9 minutes to 5! That 9 minute timeout was killer. I do believe that the timeout is put in place instead of deactivation. Deactivation due to ignoring the requests would be unlawful I think. Perhaps that's why I am still employed by Uber even with a 20% acceptance rate for the past 8 months or so.
 

cleansafepolite

Well-Known Member
I wonder if the time out for rejecting rides is to stop manipulation of the surge? uber x drivers gett the penalty box as well for rejecting. I would like to ask if there is an bigger penalty than the time out for uber xl rejecting x rides. I think its disgusting...but i would not want to make an ass of myself without knowing the facts again.
 

Goom

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
I wonder if the time out for rejecting rides is to stop manipulation of the surge? uber x drivers gett the penalty box as well for rejecting. I would like to ask if there is an bigger penalty than the time out for uber xl rejecting x rides. I think its disgusting...but i would not want to make an ass of myself without knowing the facts again.
I believe its 5 minutes across the board. And yes, I do know everyone gets the penalty box for multiple rejections. Yesterday, I got the penalty box after 2 rejections. I thought it was 3.

I think the point here is that XL cars typically cost more than X (thinking suburban vs prius/charger). So I can understand if they don't want to accept $0.85 ($0.67)/mi. The fuel cost alone is big... so why penalize an XL if they dont want to do a min fare of $2.62 since they will probably consume that in one trip (including maintenance cost).
 

andaas

Well-Known Member
Moderator
I've never been put in time out, I drive UberX. Granted, I never sign in to Uber until the surge has passed 2x and I am deep in the middle of the surging zone. I typically sign off of Uber after passing on 2 consecutive rides as I figure demand isn't high enough to warrant my being online.
 

KMANDERSON

Well-Known Member
I'm grateful that they lowered the "timeout" from 9 minutes to 5! That 9 minute timeout was killer. I do believe that the timeout is put in place instead of deactivation. Deactivation due to ignoring the requests would be unlawful I think. Perhaps that's why I am still employed by Uber even with a 20% acceptance rate for the past 8 months or so.
20 percent lol
 

docswife

Well-Known Member
20 percent lol
I'm serious! My acceptance rate has been between 14-40% for the longest..

I dont take X rides in my select vehicle unless it's over a certain surge amount and I dont take non surge rides in my X vehicle, period. It's MY way, not Uber's.
 

KMANDERSON

Well-Known Member
I'm serious! My acceptance rate has been between 14-40% for the longest..

I dont take X rides in my select vehicle unless it's over a certain surge amount and I dont take non surge rides in my x vehicle, period. It's MY way, not Uber's.
What you lowest surge you work for mine 2x if I cant get that I just stay on lyft are one of my food delivery apps
 

docswife

Well-Known Member
What you lowest surge you work for mine 2x if I cant get that I just stay on lyft are one of my food delivery apps
You're not making $1.70 per mile with Lyft so not sure why your method is that but ok. My method? Depends. But mainly 2.0 or greater.
 

KMANDERSON

Well-Known Member
You're not making $1.70 per mile with Lyft so not sure why your method is that but ok. My method? Depends. But mainly 2.0 or greater.
2x with uber never said don't do regular rides with lyft.I said multiple times I keep uber for surge lyft I do normal rides
 

andaas

Well-Known Member
Moderator
I also drive Lyft at normal rates (sometimes I'll do the Lyft guarantees). I typically earn enough in tips to keep pace with the 20% commission, so it's basically the same as driving UberX at 1.3/1.4x (although with no SRF deduction, it is definitely better pay).

I will add though that the Friday/Saturday night bar crowd is still very stingy on the tips. Groups heading out to dinner and airport trips (in and out) tend to garner the most tips on average.
 
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