Brazilian higher court on Wednesday reportedly declared that there was no employment relationship between Uber and its drivers. Uber had constantly argued that the company is a digital intermediary and not an employer. According to media reports, the ride-hailing company had also said that all the drivers accept the conditions when they log into their accounts.
The federal judge in Brasilia ruled against recognising the employer-employee link in the company and said that the drivers can detach themselves from the app whenever they like before saying all the partner drivers have flexible work hours. The company welcomed the ruling of the Federal court and issued a statement which said that it supported dozens of previous decisions in Brazilian courts establishing that its drivers are not employees.
The federal labour judge, Breno Medeiros, found that the wide flexibility of the drivers in terms of deciding where they want to drive and the number of customers they serve each day was "incompatible" with an employer-employee relationship. Medeiros also said that the take-home pay of drivers from each ride, between 75% and 80% of the total fare, was enough to characterise the relationship with Uber as a partnership.
Meanwhile, in the North American country of Mexico, Uber reportedly suspended 240 user accounts as a containment effort to combat the spread of the deadly Coronavirus. According to reports, Uber confirmed that they had suspended the customers who had ridden with two drivers who came into contact with a possible Coronavirus case.
Mexico has not reported any confirmed cases of Coronavirus to date. The two uber drivers that are presumably infected showed pneumonia-like symptoms and have been transferred to the medical care centre, suggest reports. “We will keep users and drivers informed with respect to any update of their accounts,” Uber informed in an official statement to the citizens on the company’s Mexican Twitter account.
(With inputs from Agencies)