Uber, Lyft sued for allegedly violating WARN Act by leaving Austin

(AP File Photo)
(AP File Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Former drivers for Uber and Lyft have brought class-action lawsuits against the rideshare companies after they left Austin on May 9.

Todd Johnston began working for Uber in May 2015, using it as his primary source of income. Plaintiff David Thornton began working for Lyft in October 2015.

The lawsuit states the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires certain employers give their employees 60 days notice before a mass layoff, the lawsuit states.

Johnston, Thornton and their lawyers cite settlements over allegations that Uber and Lyft drivers constitute employees and not independent contractors.

Other Uber and Lyft drivers are not named in the lawsuits because of the “impracticality” of naming the estimated 10,000 drivers Uber had in Austin before May 9, the suit continues.

Both plaintiffs are suing for up to 60 days of back pay, including other benefits, to affected drivers.

The two transportation network companies (TNC) left after Proposition 1 failed to pass in a May 7 vote.

Fifty-six percent voted against the proposition, which would have removed a controversial fingerprinting requirement for TNC drivers. In total, 17 percent of registered voters in Travis County took part in the election.

The failure of the proposition also meant drivers are not allowed to stop in lanes of traffic while they pick up or drop off passengers.

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