On Lyft and Juno Suing to Block Higher Pay for Drivers in NYC

The following is a statement from Rebecca Smith, director of the Work Structures program at the National Employment Law Project, on the lawsuits filed today by Lyft and Juno to block pay raises set to take effect this week for app drivers in New York City:

“Ride-hailing companies like Uber, Lyft, and Juno are making immense profits but paying poverty wages to their drivers, the majority of whom bring in less than minimum wage after expenses. That’s why New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission took an important step in December to adopt minimum pay standards that will lift the incomes and improve the lives of 80,000 New Yorkers and their families.

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“Unfortunately, with these lawsuits, Lyft and Juno are trying to block their drivers from earning a living wage. These ride-hailing companies can afford to pay a living wage but simply choose not to do so. Rather, they resist fair labor standards at every turn. They sued to stop workers from collectively bargaining with them; they spent millions to buy exemptions from being considered the employers of these workers. This litigation is just the latest chapter in their non-stop quest to be regulation-free.

“Some of these companies pride themselves on social justice contributions—for example, allowing customers to round up their fares to donate to charities. Well, charity starts at home—most tellingly, in how they treat their drivers.

“New York City’s app-based drivers need and deserve this raise. We trust the courts will ultimately agree.”

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