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Uber's US$100m driver pay settlement rejected by judge
[SAN FRANCISCO] Uber Technologies Inc's may come out ahead by failing to win court approval of a US$100 million settlement with drivers.
Even before a San Francisco judge rejected the deal on Thursday, the drivers' lawyer said the ride-share giant may have the upper hand to walk away from further negotiations because an appeals court hinted that it might overrule a key pretrial ruling in the fight over whether drivers must be treated as employees.
If the three-year-old lawsuit collapses, the world's most valuable technology startupwould escape without any significant changes to its business model or financial sacrifice while keeping more than 350,000 California and Massachusetts drivers classified as independent contractors.
While Uber faces driver lawsuits elsewhere as well as challenges to its pricing and business practices, the California case was seen as the most likely to upend its gig-economy workforce model because of the state's relatively tough labour laws.