A San Francisco-based driver for ride-hailing service giant Uber is not an independent contractor but an employee, according to a ruling from the California Labor Commission that received a lot of press earlier this year. But should Uber worry?
In the near term, the answer is yes — and Uber has already appealed the decision. Uber stated that the ruling is not broadly applicable and contradicts other rulings: "The California Labor Commission's ruling is non-binding and applies to a single driver," Uber told CNBC in a statement. "Indeed it is contrary to a previous ruling by the same commission."
Still, Uber's business and $50-billion-plus valuation has been built on a business model that doesn't require it to own anything — cars or the individuals who drive them.
The commission said Uber is "involved in every aspect of the operation."
In the long run, though, Uber's drivers may not need to be involved in any aspect of the company's operation: Uber is among the Silicon Valley firms pushing furthest into a self-driving car future.