Food-delivery drivers sue more start-ups for employee status

Stage set for legal showdown over Uber drivers

More start-ups have been hit with complaints in California over the employee status of contract workers, the San Francisco Business Times reported.

Workers from food-delivery companies GrubHub, DoorDash and Caviar have filed complaints in court that their role as contractors should be re-classified as full-fledged employees, the Times reported. If upheld, the suits could allow take-out delivery drivers to be eligible for benefits like insurance and expense reimbursement.

A GrubHub spokeswoman said she could not comment on pending litigation. DoorDash and Caviar did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

The complaints come after similar on-demand services, like ride-hailing Uber and handyman-booking Handy, faced scrutiny from policymakers, courts and labor organizations over the treatment of gig workers.

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The food-delivery suits, like previous cases, focus on how the drivers are treated by managers, according to the Times, alleging workers are told where to go and how to dress, just like an employee. A recent ruling against Uber found if the company retained "all necessary control over the operation as a whole," the workers might be classified as employees.

Even as on-demand service companies grow rapidly, the complaints continue to be a trend in the industry.

Since the Uber ruling, the National Labor Relations Board expanded the definition of "employer" to include more industries that rely on temporary help. And presidential candidates like Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton weighed in on whether the flexible arrangements of freelancing outweigh the instability facing a growing pool of temporary workers in the U.S.

To read more about the most recent complaints, check out the San Francisco Business Times.