back to article Uber's New York competitor sued over driver equity scheme

Drivers of Uber-competitor Juno have taken out a class action lawsuit against the company, claiming that it ripped them off with an equity ownership scheme that was designed to attract them to the service. When it launched in early 2016, the New York City company came up with a novel way to attract drivers to its service – …

  1. FozzyBear Silver badge

    Uber had considered a similar scheme but decided not to go ahead with it when it decided that would probably break securities laws. There is also a chance that drivers could have faced a tax bill for their shares if they were retained.

    First time for everything I guess Uber, not breaking laws. Must have been in the early days when Uber as a company had a conscience

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      Not a consccience. They had advice from lawyers, which replaces a corporate conscience nowadays.

      1. EnviableOne Bronze badge

        just a simple cost benefit analysis - FINE from SEC + Bad publicity + cost of litigation > extra income from drivers recruited

  2. Winkypop Silver badge

    Suits ripping off workers

    plus ça change...

  3. John Mangan

    A naive, weakened, sad, embittered part of me . . . .

    thinks that there must surely be a path to success for companies that actually treat their employees as if they have some intrinsic value and not as disposable inconveniences but then I look at the world.

  4. NBCanuck

    Law school vocabulary

    "we intend to vigorously defend against the allegations in court."

    Why is it lawyers seem to have such a limited vocabulary and resort to standard canned statements all the time. Really....after all the money they spent on law school you'd think they could occasionally "aggressively" defend against an allegation. Or maybe: "boldly defend" or "earnestly defend".

    1. Keith Langmead

      Re: Law school vocabulary

      Maybe it's insider code... other lawyers know it means "I personally think this is bullshit and they've got us bang to rights, but they're my client and I'm required to argue their case, please don't hold this against me!"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Law school vocabulary

        Did you see Mr Trump's lawyer on TV?

        "The President is not being investigated."

        "The President is not being investigated."

        "The President is not being investigated."

        "The President IS being investigated. It's a witch hunt"

        "The President is not being investigated. Don't put words in my mouth!"

        All in the same five minute interview.

  5. Bob Dole (tm)

    Helpful Hint

    Here's a helpful hint to anyone considering trading pay for "stock" or options in a company that has yet to become publicly traded: Don't.

    You will be the first to be screwed over as soon as the real money investors show up to take the company public. Such investors have a singular goal - to make as much money as possible in the deal. To do so they will screw absolutely everyone over. The only possible chance you have to come out ok is if you have solid legal representation during the discussion phase - and the only people that are invited to that table are the actual owners.

    If the company is already publicly traded there are, generally, enough legal requirements around stock that you can reasonably sure that any stock for pay agreements will be honored. It's just that it's way too easy to legally restructure privately held businesses - up to, and including, starting a new company that doesn't have all the baggage then transferring assets to avoid such agreements.

  6. The Nazz Silver badge

    I know it's a small sample but....

    I see a pattern emerging in the drivers engaged.

    ps contextually correct, but isn't "uber-profitable" a poor choice of phraseology for the value of the New York Taxi market?

    like multi million (billion) losses level of profitability?

    1. Kernel

      Re: I know it's a small sample but....

      "I see a pattern emerging in the drivers engaged."

      It's quite common for immigrants, especially those that have arrived as refugees, to end up driving taxis or in similar low pay/low skill work.

      This is not because they're ignorant or lazy, in my experience, but because they have often left highly paid professional positions in their home country and their qualifications are not accepted in their new country. This can be because of things like academic and work records lost/destroyed, lack of the requisite language skills to practice their profession in their new home or simply that their alma mater is not recognised in their new country as a 'proper' university.

      As a fairly regular taxi user I've encountered a number of drivers who had jobs with a somewhat higher status and pay rate before what ever happened, happened. I suspect there's a huge resource of untapped sjkills out there that could be harnessed if a bit more effort was put into helping these people become compliant with the qualification requirements in their new country.

  7. Chrissycap

    When will people realize that all of these companies are the same which is why they're not regulated. I use the taxi app E-HAIL ( same convenience but real drivers.

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