Uber (The Canadian Press)

Supreme Court sides with Uber driver seeking better pay, benefits

Man behind the planned class action, David Heller, is an Ontario driver for UberEats

The Supreme Court of Canada has cleared the way for Uber drivers to take the next step in their fight to be recognized as employees.

In a decision today, the high court upheld an Ontario Court of Appeal decision that opened the door to a class-action suit aimed at securing a minimum wage, vacation pay and other benefits for drivers.

The man behind the planned class action, David Heller, is an Ontario driver for UberEats, a service that delivers food from restaurants to customers at home.

He argues that Uber drivers are employees, which entitles them to protections under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act.

Ontario’s highest court said a clause in Uber’s services agreement that requires all disputes to go through arbitration in the Netherlands amounted to illegally outsourcing an employment standard.

Heller earns about $400 to $600 a week before paying taxes and expenses, using his own vehicle and working 40 to 50 hours a week, amounting to revenue between $21,000 and $31,000 annually.

He says this works out to $10 to $12 an hour, while the minimum wage in Ontario is $14 an hour.

In its decision, the Supreme Court says the arbitration agreement is invalid, noting someone in Heller’s position could not be expected to appreciate the financial and legal implications of the arbitration clause.

“We agree with the Court of Appeal. This is an arbitration agreement that makes it impossible for one party to arbitrate,” said seven of the high court justices.

Another justice who sided with Heller went even further, saying the arbitration agreement with Uber effectively bars him from accessing a legally determined dispute resolution, imposing undue hardship on Heller and undermining the rule of law.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Supreme Court

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Terrace conservation officers relocate Spirit bear

Bear roamed Kitsumkalum Valley north of Terrace for many years

Seabridge Gold starts drilling along proposed tunnel route north of Stewart

Twin tunnels will connect the KSM mine to its mill and tailings site

Mother grizzly bear with two cubs spotted on Gruchy’s Beach trail near Terrace

Conservation officers also warning public to stay away from Grizzlies on lower Kitimat River

Village of Gingolx upgrading trails, studying campground improvements

Initiative is one of 39 trail and recreation projects to receive provincial funding

Terrace first responders honour late colleague with large procession

Dozens of emergency vehicles drove through Terrace July 7

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Large rogue floating ‘island’ corralled by Lac la Hache residents

At least 60 feet wide, this large mass of plants is free-floating on the lake

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Most Read