Judge: Uber drivers are not company’s employees

(Reuters) A U.S. judge in Philadelphia has ruled that limousine drivers for Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] are independent contractors and not the company’s employees under federal law, the first ruling of its kind on a crucial issue for the ride-hailing company.

U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson on Wednesday said San Francisco-based Uber does not exert enough control over drivers for its limo service, UberBLACK, to be considered their employer under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The drivers work when they want to and are free to nap, run personal errands, or smoke cigarettes in between rides, Baylson said.

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