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Uber Decision Underlines Tough Questions Coming on Corporate Culture

Matt Kelly | June 22, 2015

Let me begin by saying I rarely use Uber. Still, I know an Uber car and driver when I see them—which is precisely the problem for Uber these days, and probably for many more companies before much longer.

I speak of the California Labor Commission’s decision earlier this month that, yes, an Uber driver is an employee of Uber. The ride-hailing company had been sued by an ex-driver in San Diego, who said she worked long hours with no support from Uber to cover her expenses. Uber argued that the woman wasn’t actually an employee, because Uber doesn’t employ drivers. Rather, it is a technology company that only puts drivers in touch with customers. So the driver in question was really an independent contractor, Uber argued, responsible for her own costs.

The public is curious about this Uber ruling because it raises questions about the future of work, when the future of work for so...

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