Uber Technologies and Lyft are set to face trial on Monday in a U.S. lawsuit by Massachusetts’ attorney general alleging the ride-share companies misclassified their drivers as independent contractors rather than more costly employees.
The non-jury trial in Boston comes amid broader legal and political battles in the Democratic-led state and elsewhere nationally over the status of drivers for app-based companies whose rise has fueled the U.S. gig worker economy.
Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell is asking a judge to conclude that drivers for Uber and Lyft are employees under state law and therefore entitled to benefits such as a minimum wage, overtime and earned sick time.
Her office claims the companies for years misclassified thousands of Massachusetts drivers and cannot meet a three-part test under the state’s worker-friendly laws that would allow them to be deemed independent contractors.