Cotter v. Lyft, Inc.

60 F. Supp. 3d 1067 (2015)

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Cotter v. Lyft, Inc.

United States District Court for the Northern District of California
60 F. Supp. 3d 1067 (2015)

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Facts

Patrick Cotter and Alejandra Maciel (plaintiffs) were Lyft (defendant) drivers in San Francisco. Lyft owned and operated a ride-sharing app. Lyft drivers set their own schedules. Drivers could accept or decline rides and cancel rides. However, Lyft tracked drivers’ acceptance rates and cancellation rates and terminated riders for below-average rates. Lyft also subjected its drivers to the “Rules of the Road,” a list of dos and don’ts that were more commands and prohibitions than suggestions. Lyft reserved the right to punish drivers who broke the rules. Lyft also claimed the right to bar a driver from its app for any reason. Cotter gave 173 rides in his several months working for Lyft. Cotter maintained employment with Facebook during his time with Lyft and gave Lyft rides when his Facebook schedule permitted. Cotter was terminated for using an unapproved vehicle to give rides. Maciel gave about 180 rides over a six-week period while driving for Lyft, working part-time. Maciel was terminated for her low average passenger rating. Cotter and Maciel filed an action against Lyft for failing to treat them as employees as required by California law. The two drivers and Lyft filed cross-motions for summary judgment in the district court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Chhabria, J.)

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