In California, Uber Drivers Are Employees, Not Contractors

A driver for Uber in California is an employee, not a contractor. That's according to a California ruling that eventually could push up costs for the smartphone-based ride hailing service and hurt the closely watched start-up's valuation. The California Labor Commission's decision could ripple through the burgeoning industry of providing services via smartphones. It also has potential implications for other “crowdsourced” services such as Uber rival Lyft, chore service TaskRabbit, and cleaning service Homejoy. The ruling - which Uber insisted applied to only one driver, Barbara Ann Berwick--was the latest in a series of legal and regulatory challenges facing the company and other highly valued start-ups in the United States and other countries.