They accuse the companies of depriving them of employee benefits while also denying them the freedoms of independent contractors.
A group of drivers claimed on Tuesday that Uber and Lyft are engaging in anticompetitive practices by setting the prices customers pay and limiting drivers’ ability to choose which rides they accept without penalty.
The drivers, supported by the advocacy group Rideshare Drivers United, made the novel legal argument in a state lawsuit that targets the long-running debate about the job status of gig economy workers.
For years, Uber and Lyft have argued that their drivers should be considered independent contractors rather than employees under labor laws, meaning they would be responsible for their own expenses and not typically eligible for unemployment insurance or health benefits. In exchange, the companies argued, drivers could set their own hours and maintain more independence than they could if they were employees.