·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

News & Politics

This Week in Rideshare: Employees, Commissions, and Vaccinations

— September 17, 2021

Dutch court steps in, Uber offers new pricing, and Hawaii works with Uber. LegalRideshare breaks it down.

Free rides, favorable rulings, and phones vs. flip outs; it’s all here in This Week in Rideshare.

MONDAY 9/13/21

Are drivers employees? The Dutch court certainly thinks so. TechCrunch reported:

Uber has lost another legal challenge in Europe over the employment status of drivers: The Court of Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, has ruled that drivers for Uber are employed, rather than self-employed contractors.

The court also found drivers are covered by an existing collective labor agreement in the country — which pertains to taxi drivers — meaning Uber faces increased costs to comply with the agreement which sets pay requirements and covers benefits like sick pay. (And it may be liable for paying driver back pay in some cases.)

The court also ordered Uber to pay €50,000 in costs.

TUESDAY 9/14/21

Uber Eats is offering commission. National Restaurant News reported:

Uber Eats and Postmates introduced on Monday a new three-tiered commission pricing model for operators beginning at 15% for basic plans and going up to 30%. The new options mirrors the tiered pricing model introduced by DoorDash in April.

Moving forward, operators partnering with the third-party delivery apps Uber Eats and Postmates can choose one of three options.


Getting a vaccine in Hawaii may come with a free ride. Hawaii Tribune reported:

Hawaii County’s Mass Transit Agency is partnering with Uber to provide access to rides to and from COVID-19 vaccination appointments in as part of the county’s Hele-On Get Your Shot! campaign.

The Uber program expands access to vaccine clinics around the island. The Hele-On Demand Response bus service and Paratransit service also provide rides.

THURSDAY 9/16/21

Uber is getting sued after being blamed for not preventing the Kalamazoo rampage. Gizmodo reported:

A passenger who rode with Jason Dalton — the Uber driver convicted of a 2016 shooting spree in Kalamazoo, Michigan — is suing Uber for allegedly misrepresenting its safety protocols and failing to provide an incident report service.

The passenger, Matt Mellen, claims that, hours before Dalton’s deadly rampage, the driver careened through the streets so recklessly that Mellen called 911 and attempted to contact Uber support. Dalton then shot and killed six people and injured two others.

Mellen contacted 911 but was unable to reach Uber’s 24/7 incident report line, the suit says. Soon after Mellen attempted to contact Uber, Dalton fatally shot a father and son at a Kia dealership, as well as four people at a Cracker Barrel. He also shot and critically wounded a 14-year-old and a mother protecting children at an apartment complex.

FRIDAY 9/17/21

Person holding up sign with angry face on it standing in front of red brick wall; image by Andre Hunter, via
Image by Andre Hunter, via

Lyft suspended a driver for kicking out a passenger onto the highway. Newsweek reported:

Lyft has suspended one of its drivers over video showing her kick out a passenger onto the side of a busy highway, before yelling at him: “F**k you and f**k your mother too.”

Passenger Aaron Swetland later told local TV that there had been a sudden “change in tone, in attitude” of the driver and urged others to “be cautious of your surroundings.”

In the clip, Swetland asks the driver to slow down. The driver turns to say “I’m saying I’m gonna go-,” before noticing she is being filmed and attempting to grab Swetland’s phone.

The driver screams at the passenger to get out of the car, to which Swetland agrees if she opens the trunk that contains his suitcase.

Join the conversation!