Uber (The Canadian Press)

Supreme Court sides with Uber driver seeking better pay, benefits

Man behind the planned class action, David Heller, is an Ontario driver for UberEats

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.

Heller earns about $400 to $600 a week before paying taxes and expenses, using his own vehicle and working 40 to 50 hours a week, amounting to revenue between $21,000 and $31,000 annually.

He says this works out to $10 to $12 an hour, while the minimum wage in Ontario is $14 an hour.

In its decision, the Supreme Court says the arbitration agreement is invalid, noting someone in Heller’s position could not be expected to appreciate the financial and legal implications of the arbitration clause.

“We agree with the Court of Appeal. This is an arbitration agreement that makes it impossible for one party to arbitrate,” said seven of the high court justices.

Another justice who sided with Heller went even further, saying the arbitration agreement with Uber effectively bars him from accessing a legally determined dispute resolution, imposing undue hardship on Heller and undermining the rule of law.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Supreme Court

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PQBeat: Do you remember your first television set?

Sharing memories of TV shows past and present

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports fishing vessel personnel made the find on Saturday, Sept. 19

COVID-19: New air carrier sought for Qualicum Beach Airport

Island Express Air ends operation due to pandemic

Parksville rider to join alumni for modified Tour de Rock

Roberts pleased to again be involved in Canadian Cancer Society’s Cops for Cancer event

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Resident Alien returns to Ladysmith for filming in early October

New SyFy series back after spring filming interrupted by COVID-19

COVID-19 skill loss will hurt global economic output for rest of century: survey

About one in seven Canadian students satisfied with transition toward online learning

Most Read