Tuesday, June 18, 2019
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Judicial vice tightens on Uber

The uberization has lead in the wing in France. A major decision was made at the end of November by the Court of Cassation which had reclassified as a permanent contract employee a cyclist from Take eat easy, a meal delivery platform competing with Deliveroo, which has since gone bankrupt. But it did not relate directly to the company that gave its name to this new model of professional relations. The Court of Appeal of Paris made this Thursday a major decision since it attacks, this time, the heart of the reactor: the company Uber itself.

"Sufficient bundle of clues"

In this case, a driver was contesting the deactivation of his account before the Labor Court of Paris. The latter declared himself incompetent in June 2018. Considering that the contract was " commercial in nature "he referred the case to the Commercial Court. The Court of Appeal of Paris, on the contrary, took the complainant's"A sufficient bundle of clues is gathered to allow […] to characterize the relationship of subordination in which [le chauffeur] was during his connections to the Uber platform ». In the complainant's case, the possibilities of sanctions and other disconnections, particularly pointed out by the Court of Cassation, figure prominently.

The Court of Appeal finds that the partnership agreement signed with Uber "Is an employment contract". As a result, she referred the subject to the Labor Court, to which she reminded the Labor Code "Gives competence […] to settle disputes that may amount to [l’occasion d’un contrat de travail] ".

Another decision expected on March 11

However, it will be necessary to wait for the Court of Cassation to decide that the advisors prud'homaux of Paris can seize this affair. Uber, who persists in asserting that "Drivers choose to use the Uber app for independence and freedom to connect to it if, when and where they want it," announced its intention to challenge the decision of the Court of Appeal.

But this will not save the company time because another case of request for requalification of chauffeurs Uber in employees has just been pleaded in the industrial tribunal of Paris. Ten files were submitted jointly, out of nearly 100 harvested. The hearing took place on December 18, 2018 and the judgment will be pronounced on March 11. The decision of the Court of Appeal makes it unlikely that the trial judges would decline to rule.

"Our challenge is our independence from relationship platforms", says Sayah Baaroun, the general secretary of the Union of private drivers VTC at the origin of these recourse grouped. He points out the differences between Uber and platforms like Doctolib or Blablacar, "That do not define prices". In fact, what is being played out in the courts is not the existence of a collaborative economy based on platforms but the degree of constraints that these intermediaries put in relation with service providers and clients. can exercise.

To be too greedy, warns the Court of Appeal of Paris, a platform of intermediation takes the risk that the presumption of non-wage labor provided for by the Labor Code for autoentrepreneurs and other individual entrepreneurs is contradicted by the fact of the existence of a bundle of indices of the existence of a subordination bond. This decision of the Court of Appeal of Paris is major because it shows the limits of this presumption that Emmanuel Macron had introduced into the Labor Code in 2015, when he was Minister of the Economy, via the law which carries his name.

Leila de Comarmond


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