OTTAWA – The supreme Court ruled on Friday that ontario courts may hear a class action of $ 400 million, initiated by the drivers of the giant Uber who want to be recognized as employees.
In this case, David Heller, then a driver for UberEats, believed that the contract that he had previously accepted was contrary to the laws of ontario.
However, the contract stated that any legal dispute between Mr. Heller and the company had to be settled by the international Chamber of commerce in the netherlands, and not by a court of justice in Canada.
In 2017, it has filed a class action against Uber for violations of the Act, the employment standards (ESA) of Ontario. According to him, the drivers of Uber are employees within the meaning of the law and not of contract.
For its part, the company has requested that the dispute be rather settled by means of arbitration in the netherlands. It is important to know that the procedures of mediation and arbitration require the payment of an administrative fee and initial filing of 14 500 US$, plus fees and other costs of participation. However, Mr. Heller earns only between $ 400 and $ 600 per week.
The judge of first instance had sided arguments from Uber, according to which it was the referee in the netherlands should be decided.
Then, the Court of appeal held that the ontario courts who had to decide if the arbitration clause was valid. It ruled that the clause of the employment contract of Uber was zero.
Friday, seven judges out of eight of the supreme Court have considered that it was the courts who had to decide if the arbitration clause was unfair, stating also that it was null and void.