Arnold Thomas & Becker launches legal action against Uber for failure to provide workers with compensation rights

Arnold Thomas & Becker have issued proceedings against Uber in the County Court of Victoria, for failure to acknowledge an Uber driver’s workers compensation rights.

The action arises following the rejection of an Uber driver’s workers compensation claim for injuries suffered after a fall whilst delivering food. This claim was rejected by Uber on the basis that the driver was considered to be a contractor/sole trader not an employee or worker.

Arnold Thomas & Becker lawyer, Ilbron Osalian says, “this case shows a clear power imbalance between the global company and vulnerable workers who are without workers’ compensation rights”.

Mr Osalian also said that whilst Uber’s current contracts with drivers makes it hard for workers to prove they are employees and not contractors, workers could be seen to be employees on a number of fronts.

“At all relevant times, our client was a worker according to the provisions outlined in the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation & Compensation Act 2013 (“the Act”)”, said Mr Osalian.

“Our client was injured whilst delivering goods on behalf of Uber in September 2020.  He tripped and fell, injuring his knee and rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament”, he said.

“As a consequence of this fall, our client has suffered ongoing pain and degeneration of the knee’s function”.

In Victoria, workers are protected by The Workplace Act which addresses what happens when a worker is injured or killed. Workers compensation laws provide a safety net for injured workers so that they can get access to medical treatment, weekly payments and in some instances, lump sum claims.

In denying this worker’s status as an employee, Uber is not meeting its obligations to keep its workforce safe, whilst also denying people the rights provided by other Victorian employers to their employees.

Earlier this year Uber chose to settle a high-profile case with one of its food delivery riders before the case went to court, avoiding a landmark ruling on whether it’s workers are employees or contractors.

Arnold Thomas & Becker’s action seeks to see Uber recognise that their client is a worker under the Act.  They are also seeking workers compensation benefits on behalf of their client.

“Workers across Victoria have a number of right’s under the state’s workers’ compensation scheme – we are pursuing this action on behalf of our client, and other Uber workers who should be entitled to the same benefits and protections ”, said Mr Osalian.

Media Contact – Kalle Amanatides, 0419 483 424