Boston Lawsuit Says Uber Exploits Drivers

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A Boston labor lawyer has sued the car service Uber, alleging that it exploits its drivers.

The suit filed Thursday in Suffolk Superior Court by attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan says Uber Technologies Inc. misclassifies its drivers as independent contractors, making them pay for their own gas, insurance and other expenses, and to avoid paying them the same as employees with benefits.

The suit also says Uber violates state law regarding tips by keeping a portion of included gratuities, instead of giving them entirely to the drivers.

"What Uber is really doing is artificially making costs of its service look lower than it really is because it's miscommunicated to the public that there is already a gratuity in the fare," Liss-Riordan told WBUR.

The suit was filed on behalf of one Uber driver in Brookline, but seeks class-action status.

An Uber spokesman said in a statement that "Uber will vigorously defend the rights of drivers to build their own small business, and riders to enjoy competition and choice."

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom