Ride-hailing start-up Lyft this week settled a proposed class-action lawsuit. The settlement offered drivers some concessions, but stopped short of reclassifying the drivers as employees.
Identifying drivers as employees is a key sticking point for ride-hailing companies including Uber. The new crop of transportation companies recruit freelance drivers, essentially, who don't enjoy traditional workplace benefits such as health-care and work-related expenses. And despite Lyft's decision to settle on Monday, experts say the broader issue of potentially reclassifying drivers and workplace protections is far from settled.
"None of these companies are going to shift the classification until they are forced to," says Catherine Ruckelshaus, general counsel at the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group. "It's too lucrative of an arrangement for the companies."