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France: Supreme Court recognises Uber Drivers as Employees

Uber has lost its appeal before the French Supreme Court. The highest jurisdiction in France, has upheld the verdict that the company’s drivers are to be considered employees, based on the fact that the drivers are bound by a subordinate relationship.

The Court of Cassation now recognises that an Uber driver is indeed an employee – a new setback for mobility platforms. The American giant Uber, which had not escaped the reclassification of its contractual relationship with one of its drivers as an employment contract in early 2019 on appeal, also failed to win its case on appeal before the Supreme Court. In a ruling handed down on 4 March 2020, and intended for the widest possible publication, the Court of Cassation maintained its traditional position in this matter and, as in the Take Eat Easy case in 2018, found that the conditions for the performance of the service clearly revealed the characteristic elements of a subordination relationship. Under French law, this is the essential element for the recognition of an employment contract. This decision will have far reaching consequences for other platforms operating on a similar business model.