Ride-share firms Lyft and Uber have agreed to pay $328 million (£262 million) in settlements to current and former drivers following investigations by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
The multi-year investigations into Uber and Lyft found that pay and benefits available under New York labor laws had been withheld from more than 100,000 New York drivers. Uber will pay $290 million (£237.1 million) and Lyft will pay $38 million (£31 million). Eligible drivers can file a claim to receive the funds.
As part of the settlements, Uber and Lyft have agreed to an earnings floor that guarantees a minimum pay rate from dispatch to ride completion. Drivers outside of New York City will receive a minimum of $26 (£21.26) per hour.
They also will earn one hour of guaranteed sick pay for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 56 hours per year. Drivers outside of New York City will be paid a minimum of $26 per hour for sick leave, and those covered by the Taxi and Limousine Commission New York City minimum pay rules, which include an amount for paid time off, will receive $17 (£13.90) per hour.
Uber and Lyft will provide hiring notices and earnings statements that explain what drivers are entitled to and compensation earned for each pay period, in-app chat support in multiple languages and the ability to request sick leave through the apps.
Attorney General James said: “Rideshare drivers work at all hours of the day and night to take people wherever they need to go. These settlements will ensure they finally get what they have rightfully earned and are owed under the law. My office will continue to make sure that employers operating in the so-called gig economy do not deprive workers of their rights or undermine the laws meant to protect them.”
Jeremy Bird, chief policy officer at Lyft, added: “This is a win for drivers, and one we are proud to have achieved with the New York Attorney General’s Office. We look forward to continuing this work in order to provide New York drivers the independence and full range of benefits available to those in other states.”