Uber Bid To Call Drivers 'Contractors' Unpersuasive: Judge

By Beth Winegarner (January 30, 2015, 9:11 PM EST) -- The California federal judge overseeing a lawsuit by Uber Technologies Inc. drivers claiming they were cheated out of a 20 percent gratuity cast doubt Friday on the ride-hailing company's bid for a ruling that the drivers aren't its employees, saying Uber's claim that it's only a software platform wasn't "very persuasive."

U.S. District Judge Edward Chen was openly skeptical of Uber's arguments on summary judgment that the company merely provides an app that allows independent drivers to find potential fares. Although Uber argued that it exerts little or no control over drivers, the drivers say they were threatened with termination if...

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