Lyft, Drivers Settle Beef Over ‘Prime-Time Premium’ Fares

(CN) – Ride-hail company Lyft on Thursday agreed to pay current and former drivers approximately $1.9 million to settle a lawsuit over the drivers’ share of peak-time rates.

Plaintiff Alex Zamora and other Lyft drivers asked a federal judge to preliminarily approve the settlement ending a case filed in 2016.

The drivers’ claims relate to a program by Lyft which charged customers higher rates for rides during certain hours. While Lyft told customers the difference between regular and “Prime Time Premium” rates would go entirely to the driver, the company actually took a share and sometimes the entirety of the disparity.

Lyft sets the rates for rides, giving the driver 80 percent of a fare while keeping a 20 percent commission.

Originally, the Zamora case was related to another case against Lyft in which plaintiffs claimed the company treated them as independent contractors when in reality they should be classified as full-time employees with associated benefits.

Last year, Lyft settled that case with drivers past and present for $27 million. But the judge in the case ruled the Zamora plaintiffs’ claims couldn’t be added because their claims did not “seem very strong,” leading Zamora and the others to file the present suit.

The final settlement must be approved by U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria. The $1.9 million will be placed in a settlement fund, according to the terms. About 245,000 drivers in California were affected by Lyft’s policy, according to the plaintiffs.

A hearing on the preliminary settlement is slated for May 3.


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