Two Uber drivers are eligible for unemployment payments, according to the New York State Department of Labor, reports The Washington Post.
Levon Aleksanian and Jakir Hossain applied for jobless benefits after Uber deactivated their driver accounts last year. It is not clear why their accounts were deactivated.
Uber and other ride-hailing companies such as Lyft have said its drivers are contractors rather than employees. Labor unions are deperately trying to organizie the drivers, these two decsions will help.
The Post states that the New York regulator evaluates each case individually, so the rulings in Hossain's and Aleksanian's cases won’t affect other drivers. The decisions also only apply to their unemployment claims, not whether they are entitled to other employee protections. But union leaders are pleased.
“This is a significant victory for Uber drivers, and a game changer for all drivers in a race to the bottom due to Uber's economic policies,” Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, said in a news release.
More like a significant victory for union harassment versus freedom to contract.
Uber has appealed the Labor Department decision.