In the latest battle for fair pay by New York ridesharing drivers, Uber and Lyft employees are seeking oversight from the city to ensure that drivers receive at least minimum wage for their work. The Independent Drivers Guild represents over 60,000 drivers in the city. Originally organized with Uber’s support, the organization has since come into conflict with the company on multiple occasions.
The drivers are calling on the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission to enforce wage and hour laws for rideshare drivers. They delivered a petition containing over 15,000 signatures seeking the agency to bring the rules for these drivers under its authority, guaranteeing them the right to minimum wage. The drivers noted that in New York City, 90 percent of drivers for these services provide the main source of income for their households, and many of them make less than minimum wage after expenses are taken into account. The minimum wage in New York City for businesses with 10 or more workers is $13 an hour.
The drivers want to raise the standard rates for UberX drivers, ensuring that they receive at least $1.65 per mile and 33 cents per minute. They also want to see the commission Uber takes limited to 20 percent rather than additional commissions determined by rider demand. The drivers note that under their proposal, riders would face the same prices they do today, but more revenues would go to the workers and a smaller percentage to Uber.
Whether they are working in a rideshare service or elsewhere in the “gig economy,” many workers are at risk of making less than minimum wage. Other people are wrongly classified as contractors despite performing the work of employees. For individuals who are being denied their rights to minimum wage and fair pay, an employment lawyer with experience in wage and hour law can help them uphold their rights and seek the compensation to which they are entitled.