The high court of Brazil has ruled last week that Uber drivers are not the employees of the ride-hailing company but rather they are freelancers.
Brazil’s second-highest court, the Superior Court of Justice, has taken this decision last week on Wednesday. It is the first time in history that the Brazilian superior court has ruled on the matter, which is a trend-setting for the courts internationally to influence the court decisions about similar apps and services.
The ruling was announced on technical grounds, the drivers in Uber has no hierarchical connection with the Uber company, they do not have pre-agreed working hours and schedule, neither they have a fixed salary.
Uber has the largest market in the United States according to the number of trips taken by the drivers and the second-largest market in Brazil, Sao Paulo is the biggest city of Brazil where Uber is the most popular ahead of New York City and Mexico.
There are different debates in different markets regarding Uber’s hierarchical model, in the United Kingdom courts have ruled that Uber drivers are their employees, similarly, California court also denied to accept that Uber drivers are independent contractors.
The Brazilian court has also said that due to technological advancements now its now possible for Uber drivers act as independent business people rather than employed by the Uber platform.
The particular case was dragged into the court by the Uber driver in Minas Gerais state seeking the compensation for the damages and income loss after the company has closed his account.
Earlier, the local court in Brazil ruled that the person was Uber employee, however, the second court specifically handling labor relations issues said the opposite, the later decision is now upheld by the superior court in Brazil.
Uber also welcomed the decision by the court and said, “The decision endorses that the drivers at Uber are entrepreneurs who are intact with the platform to improve their economic activity.” Uber said the ruling confirms that there are no labour relations between the company and partner drivers, they are independent contractors, entrepreneurs or freelancers.