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Uber Takes Shot at Lyft in Defense to Gig Worker Suit

  • Ride-share company says state lawsuit should be tossed
  • Business-model changes make drivers contractors, Uber says
relates to Uber Takes Shot at Lyft in Defense to Gig Worker Suit

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

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Uber Technologies Inc. is trying to duck a California lawsuit that threatens to upend its business model -- by pointing a finger at Lyft Inc.

The state is suing both companies to enforce a law designed to give gig-economy workers employee benefits like health care and overtime pay, but Uber on Wednesday asked a state court in San Francisco to throw out the lawsuit because it “improperly joins two distinct companies with different business models.”

In its filing, Uber cast itself as having made adjustments to its model to give its drivers in California, whom it regards as independent contractors, even more autonomy, including letting them set their own fares and see a rider’s pickup and drop-off locations before they accept requests.

“Many of the general allegations asserted against both Uber and Lyft are simply false as to Uber,” the company said. “Vital distinctions are improperly ignored.”