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Excluded Uber Drivers Take Case to State Court

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Uber drivers who were excluded from a federal class action in 2015 are now suing in state court to be treated like employees.

The 78 drivers named in the complaint claim Uber misclassifies them as independent contractors and requires them to pay for their own gas and vehicle maintenance, along with other business expenses. They were excluded from the federal class certified last year by U.S. District Judge Edward Chen because they drove for Uber through third-party transportation companies or drove under business names.

At a hearing in November, lead plaintiff attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan told Chen that the excluded drivers would take their claims to state court.

"Their claims are not going away," she said. "They will be adjudicated. Would the court in its discretion prefer to keep them all within the same proceeding, or have them all flood the state court system? This whole litigation is going to be much less manageable than keeping them in this courtroom."

In an email Wednesday, Liss-Riordan said she expects "many more will eventually be added."

The drivers seek restitution and reimbursement for their expenses. Lead plaintiff Thomas Colopy is also seeking civil penalties for labor code violations under the Private Attorney General Act.

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