BY ARJUN SINGH — APRIL 7, 2020
“Rideshare drivers in Boston renewed their fight for employee classification from Uber and Lyft on Monday as they protested for benefits like paid sick leave on the Boston Common. Facing major wage losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, drivers won the ability to pursue wage claims against rideshare companies more than two weeks ago — which attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, who filed the motions, said is a step in the right direction — but are still urgently seeking legal recognition as employees in the interim.
Currently, Uber and Lyft classify their drivers as independent contractors, rendering them ineligible for benefits that many workers depend on, such as paid time off, sick leave, and qualifying for unemployment.
As a result, drivers are not being compensated for being out of work due to the decrease in demand for rides during the pandemic. Both Uber and Lyft have released statements that they will provide some kind of financial compensation for drivers who are diagnosed with COVID-19.
On Monday, drivers in Boston demanded the state recognize them as employees of Uber and Lyft and require the companies to provide them with paid sick leave as required under Massachusetts law. To draw awareness to their demands the group staged a driving protest, in which they drove in coordination from the Boston Commons to Logan Airport and back into the city center.”
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