As reported here earlier, in O’Connor v. Uber Technologies, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed Uber a significant victory on September 25, 2018 in a consolidated case that several groups of Uber drivers had brought alleging that Uber had violated federal and state laws in how it paid and classified them. At the lower court, the drivers had sought and won certification as a class but Uber had countered by moving to compel arbitration of the disputes. Uber argued that all the drivers had to live up to the agreements they had signed in which they agreed to arbitrate all disputes. The drivers countered by claiming that the agreements were unenforceable, and the lower court agreed.
The Ninth Circuit confirmed an earlier ruling it had made in which it found that the arbitration agreements had delegated any questions concerning their enforceability to an arbitrator, not a court. Therefore, the Ninth Circuit held, the lower court did not have the authority to decide the question of enforceability. Furthermore, since the lower court had certified the plaintiff class based on its mistaken finding that the arbitration agreements were unenforceable, the Ninth Circuit held that there was no legal basis to certify the class. As a result of this latest decision point, it appears that the plaintiffs will have to pursue their claims through arbitration.