The Lead

Pa. Supreme Court rules that Uber driver is not a contractor; is eligible for unemployment

By: - July 24, 2020 4:01 pm

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

In a 5-2 decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Friday that an Uber driver did not forfeit eligibility for unemployment benefits by starting to drive for the tech giant.

The ruling could have far-reaching consequences for gig workers, as previously reported by the Capital-Star.

Amid pandemic, gig workers’ jobless benefits at center of upcoming state court decision

The majority opinion, by Justice Kevin Dougherty and backed by the court’s four other Democratic justices, says that Uber drivers are not self-employed, but, rather that, “Uber controlled and directed the performance of … services as a driver-for-hire.”

Chief Justice Thomas Saylor, who was elected as a Republican, made two observations of note in his dissenting opinion.


The decision backs up a ruling by the state’s Commonwealth Court, which is controlled by judges elected as Republicans.

This story was reported by Capital-Staff Reporter Stephen Caruso. It was aggregated and edited by Capital-Star Editor John L. Micek.

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