Workers Comp, Benefits Suits Won’t Stop Ride-Sharing Services, Amazon.com – Business Insurance – ft. Tad A. Devlin

Posted Nov 12, 2015

Tad A. Devlin, Partner at Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck, LLP, was quoted in an article written by Sheena Harrison for Business Insurance, (November 12, 2015) —

California lawsuits accusing ride-sharing services and Amazon.com of employee misclassification may reach the U.S. Supreme Court, but requiring such companies to provide workers compensation insurance and other employee benefits likely would not stop their growth, a legal expert says.

Lawsuits related to the “on-demand economy” can set national precedent because of the “global reach of these companies and the significance of the issue,” said Tad Devlin, a partner at law firm Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck L.L.P. in San Francisco.

Four drivers filed suit last month in Los Angeles County Superior Court against Seattle-based Inc., Glendale, California-based Scoobeez Inc., Pasadena, California-based ABT Holdings Inc. and up to 10 John Doe defendants, according to a complaint plaintiff attorneys provided to Business Insurance.

Amazon, Uber and Lyft theoretically would have to provide workers comp coverage to a larger-than-anticipated workforce if courts rule drivers are employees rather than independent contractors, Mr. Devlin said.

While that coverage would represent a significant added cost for those firms, Mr. Devlin said he believes the companies are “nimble” enough to pass the costs on to customers who he said will continue to use the services.

“They’re not going anywhere. Everyone uses Uber from San Francisco to New York and beyond,” Mr. Devlin said.

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