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Uber scores legal victory over drivers who want employee benefits

The Uber application is shown on a mobile phone Sept. 14, 2018.

Reuters

Uber saw a major victory in court Tuesday when a federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled that its drivers cannot sue the company as a class, but must individually file arbitration claims as independent contractors.

The decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court's ruling which denied Uber's motion to compel arbitration. Approximately 160,000 drivers were a part of the class.

The drivers argued that Uber had misclassified them as contractors and failed to pay business expenses such as vehicles, gas and maintenance in violation of California's labor laws. Others claimed that Uber was improperly keeping tips.

Theodore Boutrous, an attorney for Uber, told the Reuters news agency they were "very pleased with the 9th Circuit's order reversing class certification."

Shannon Liss-Riordan, an attorney for the drivers, urged drivers to contact her if they want to sign up for individual arbitration. "Thousands of drivers have already signed up for individual arbitration," she said in an email to CNET. "If Uber wants to resolve these disputes one by one, we are ready to do that -- one by one."