Massachusetts Attorney General Announces Lawsuit Against Uber and Lyft

July 14, 2020

Zoom meeting including Dean Weil, Attorney General Maura Healey and several other panelists on screen
Dean Weil (top left) joins Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (bottom center) and others in a press conference streamed on Facebook Live on July 14, 2020

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced a lawsuit against rideshare platforms Uber and Lyft for allegedly misclassifying their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. Independent contractors are not entitled to the same benefits and protections as employees, such as minimum wage, overtime, paid sick leave, workplace health and safety protections, or worker's compensation.

Heller School Dean David Weil, who joined Healey at the virtual press conference, has served on a Labor Advisory Board to the Massachusetts Attorney General since 2017. Prior to joining the Heller School, he served as the administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor under President Obama.

At the press conference, which was streamed via Facebook live, Weil said, “As both an academic who studied workplaces for a long time, and as the former head of the Wage and Hour Division at the U.S. Department of Labor under President Obama, I have watched the growth of these kinds of fissured workplace business models.”

“By allowing them to both control [workers], on one hand, and yet treat workers as independent contractors on the other, these kinds of models allow business to have their cake and eat it, too. They get all of the benefits of having control and management of a workforce, but they sidestep their responsibilities to those workers under our state law, here in Massachusetts, as well as federal law. And as a result, workers earn much less than they should be—often as the Attorney General said, not even making minimum wage, much less being paid overtime—as well as many other related labor standards.”

Read the full press release on Attorney General Healey’s website.