Despite Lawsuits by Lyft and Juno, Minimum Wage Hike Goes into Effect

On February 1, 2019, the new minimum wage for app-based drivers took effect, despite legal action taken by ride-sharing companies Lyft and Juno to prevent the wage increase. Crain’s New York Business reported the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) voted to establish the first minimum wage in the nation for ride-sharing drivers.

Crain’s also reported that Judge Andrea Masley of New York State Supreme Court, Commercial Division, refused to grant both companies a temporary restraining order on the TLC’s decision. A hearing on the lawsuit has been scheduled for March 18. In the meantime, drivers will receive a minimum gross pay rate of $27.86 per hour ($17.22 after expenses). According to Crain’s, that works out to $15 an hour for an employee, including sick time and payroll taxes.

According to the TLC, almost all ride-sharing drivers — 96 percent — were not making minimum wage last year. Under the new pay rates, drivers can expect a raise of $10,000 a year.

The complaint Lyft and Juno had with the minimum wage increase is that they do not have as much of a share in the New York City ride-hail market as Uber does; therefore, Uber is able to pay those wages to their drivers. On the same day the new minimum wage went into effect, Uber announced it was raising its fares for passengers looking to go into New York City, and those travelling within Manhattan can expect to pay $2.75 more per trip.

The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires that your employer pay you at least the minimum wage, in addition to overtime. If you believe that you have not been compensated fairly as an employee, contact an experienced New York Employment Attorney who will fight for your right to a fair wage. Contact Steven Mitchell Sack at (917) 371-8000.

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