Seattle’s City Council voted unanimously to give collective bargaining rights to drivers-for-hire working for “transportation network companies” such as Uber. The measure requires taxicab and for-hire car companies to negotiate with a “driver representative” over the terms and conditions of work, if a sufficient number of drivers choose to be represented. For-hire drivers are generally considered independent contractors by the companies who employ them, and are not covered by the National Labor Relations Act, which allows collective bargaining. Independent contractors also usually excluded from general labor standards such as minimum wage, health and safety guidelines, reimbursements for work-related costs and workers’ comp. This is just one of several legal challenges and regulations that Uber is being forced to address in the last year.
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