Hearing to determine whether Uber drivers can pursue class action lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A legal battle today over whether Uber drivers should be treated as employees as opposed to contractors could have a huge impact on the company, the ride-sharing industry, and potentially millions of customers.

Uber is very popular for people who need a ride to the airport, but this lawsuit could impact these drivers and the whole on-demand economy. In San Francisco's U.S. District Court today, Judge Edward Chen is scheduled to decide whether to grant class action status to a lawsuit filed by three drivers.

CNET reports the drivers sued Uber for misclassifying them as independent contractors rather than employees. The drivers' suit claims they are employees and therefore should be reimbursed for gas and car maintenance. Uber filed a motion in federal court arguing that its more than 160,000 drivers in California are independent contractors, not employees. Uber says losing the suit would force them to change their entire business model. CNET reports if Judge Chen grants class status, Uber will have to deal with the more than 160,000 Uber drivers in California, rather than just the three drivers listed in the current lawsuit and that could lead to the company having to pay damages to all those drivers -- something that could cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

The hearing is scheduled for 1:30 this afternoon.
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