The motion for class certification in the Uber misclassification case made the San Francisco Chronicle. The motion was argued last Thursday before U.S. District Judge Edward Chen.
The article relates a few interesting exchanges that took place during the hearing:
Chen appeared skeptical of Uber’s arguments at the hearing’s outset. “Isn’t it contradictory that Uber says every single driver is an independent contractor and yet also says they are dramatically different from one another and thus can’t be certified as a class?” he asked.
Chen also questioned whether the plaintiff drivers had much backing among other drivers. “There’s nothing in the record to show mass support for the position of your three named plaintiffs,” he said to the drivers’ attorney, Shannon Liss-Riordan.
The law is what matters, not drivers’ desires, she said. “This isn’t a popularity contest,” she said. “It’s not a question of what people want.”
(Hyperlink added.) Whenever I hear that argument, in state court at least, I always cite Richmond v. Dart Industries, Inc., 29 Cal.3d 462 (1981), which explains that if someone doesn't want to participate in the case, they can choose to opt out. Widespread affirmative support is not an element of class certification that the plaintiffs must prove.