Uber drivers just won a major victory in Brazil

A taxi drivers' protest against Uber in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Image: joe raedle/Getty Images

Uber drivers just won a major victory but only in Brazil.

A judge in Sao Paulo ruled that a driver in the city had to be considered an employee of the ride-hailing giant. Uber plans to appeal the decision.

“By connecting drivers and users, Uber creates thousands of flexible opportunities for generating income,” Uber said in a statement.

Uber drivers are considered independent contractors, which means they work for Uber but aren’t entitled to employee benefits or protections. That model is key to Uber’s success and the successes of gig economy companies like TaskRabbit and Instacart that also rely on fleets of independent workers.

Uber has faced similar cases in the United States, including a major class-action lawsuit in California. DoorDash paid $5 million to settle a lawsuit over the same issue just last week.

In Brazil, Uber was ordered to pay the driver involved about $25,000, which included compensation for holidays and contribution to a severance fund the kind of benefits actual, official employees are entitled to.

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