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Supreme Court sides with Uber driver seeking better pay, benefits

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada has cleared the way for Uber drivers to take the next step in their fight to be recognized as employees.

In a decision today, the high court upheld an Ontario Court of Appeal decision that opened the door to a class-action suit aimed at securing a minimum wage, vacation pay and other benefits for drivers.

The man behind the planned class action, David Heller, is an Ontario driver for UberEats, a service that delivers food from restaurants to customers at home.

He argues that Uber drivers are employees, which entitles them to protections under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act.

Ontario’s highest court said a clause in Uber’s services agreement that requires all disputes to go through arbitration in the Netherlands amounted to illegally outsourcing an employment standard.

In its decision, the Supreme Court says the arbitration agreement between Heller and Uber effectively bars him from accessing a legally determined dispute resolution, imposing undue hardship on Heller and undermining the rule of law.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 26, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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