The New York attorney general said Uber and Lyft drivers will be getting serious back pay after the two companies settled for a total of $328 million.
The settlement will be paid to those current and former rideshare drivers who were “cheated” out of earnings and benefits, Letitia James‘ office said Thursday.
Uber will be paying back $290 million and Lyft, $38 million. As part of the settlement, the companies have agreed to significantly improve driver working conditions by creating a minimum driver earnings floor and guaranteeing paid sick leave. This means that, even though only New York drivers are eligible for settlement funds, Lyft and Uber drivers nationwide will benefit from the settlement.
Nearly 100,000 New York rideshare drivers are eligible to receive settlement funds, according to Ms. James‘ office. Eligible drivers must file a claim to receive the funds.
She said the settlement will help improve the lives of New York rideshare drivers, who are disproportionately immigrants.
“These drivers overwhelmingly come from immigrant communities and rely on these jobs to provide for their families. This settlement will ensure they finally get what they have rightfully earned and are owed under the law,” Ms. James said in a statement.
The settlement comes after a multiyear investigation into the two companies for deceptive pay deduction practices from 2014 to 2017. Ms. James accused the companies of illegally deducting taxes and fees from driver payments and misrepresenting those deductions in their terms of service.
Uber said the settlement is a “win” for drivers in New York and helps the company deliver better working conditions for their drivers. Lyft echoed the sentiment, saying it was proud to work with the attorney general’s office on the settlement.