Uber just suffered another blow.
The beleaguered ride-hailing company — which lost its CEO to a sexual harassment scandal earlier this year — just lost its appeal against a 2016 ruling mandating that Uber drivers in the U.K. are entitled to holiday pay and a guaranteed minimum wage, The Guardian reports. Uber argued that its drivers are self-employed contractors, but the Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld the earlier decision by a lower panel, which had ruled that Uber drivers should be classified as "workers" under British law.
Uber's decision to designate its U.K. drivers as contractors rather than "workers" or "employees" is estimated to save the company 30 percent on labor costs. Uber argues that this designation also gives its drivers flexibility. Yaseen Aslam, one of the two drivers who brought the case against Uber, claimed "that the average driver has to work 30 hours a week to offset their costs," and argued that the company "is lawfully depriving our rights."
Uber is expected to appeal, and the case could be heard in the U.K.'s Supreme Court next year. Last year, a U.S. judge rejected a $100 million settlement between Uber and drivers in California and Massachusetts who claimed to be employees rather than self-employed contractors and sought $854 million in damages, saying that the proposed settlement was not fair, adequate, or reasonable to the drivers. Kelly O'Meara Morales