Uber is trying to quash a class-action suit by drivers who claim they are employees and not independent contractors. The company claims the more than 160,000 American drivers control their own use of the Uber app and are therefore contractors. While the California Labor Commission has said that Uber drivers are employees and not contractors, the chair of New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission says her agency considers drivers for ride-hailing services such as Uber to be freelance workers, not employees. Five other states have ruled similarly. Classifying Uber drivers as employees would mean higher costs for the company, as it would likely need to pay Social Security, workers’ compensation, and unemployment insurance.
According to Billboard, the attorneys general of both New York and Connecticut are looking at Apple’s new streaming service to determine if Apple pressured or conspired with record labels to withdraw support from other streaming services. The European Commission is also investigating Apple’s dealings with record labels. At issue is the lack of an advertising-based freemium model as offered by Spotify and other companies. Apple is offering a three-month free trial period instead.
Universal Music Group’s legal firm responded that it has no agreements with Apple or other labels that might impede the availability of free or ad-supported services and that it is committed to a robust and competitive market for music streaming services.
Though the attorneys general investigation is currently in “suspended” status, there could be further action in the future.