Court fines Uber R$1 billion and orders company to register drivers

The 4th Labor Court of São Paulo condemned Uber do Brasil to payment of a fine of R$1 billion for collective moral damages and forced the company to register between 500,000 and 774,000 professional service providers through the platform. A decision was taken this Thursday (14) by judge Mauricio Pereira Simões in a civil action proposed by the Public Labor Ministry of São Paulo in response to complaints made by Amaa (ociation of Autonomous Application Drivers).

In a note, the company stated that it will appeal the decision and that there are more than 6,000 favorable sentences in courts and tribunals across the country.

“Uber clarifies that it will appeal the decision made by the 4th Labor Court of São Paulo and will not adopt any of the measures listed in the sentence before all applicable resources are exhausted.” A sentence determines hiring under CLT regime (Consolidation of Labor Laws) within six months after the action becomes final – when the process comes to a complete end, with no possibility of appeal -, under penalty of a daily fine of R$10,000 per driver.

The fine of R$1 billion for collective moral damages will be divided between the FAT (Worker Support Fund), which will receive 90% of the amount, according to the judge, and the drivers’ ociations, which will receive the remaining 10%. To do this, they need to be registered with a notary.

The judge divides compliance with the sentence as follows: the company must be notified and, in the subpoena, inform how many drivers are active at the time. Of this total, you must prove registration of at least one-sixth.

O Failure to comply with the determination may lead to a new finewith amounts that will be divided into 50% for FAT and 50% for driver ociations.

According to the action, in June 2016, the Public Ministry of Labor received complaints that drivers worked in conditions that lead to potential traffic accidents, as there was no limit on working hours, with rest and physical recovery.

Uber was then called by prosecutors to present documentation regarding the complaints filed by the ociation. Steps were taken, but, according to the sentence, the company would not have presented the requested documents and included studies carried out by the GE Uber group, in addition to court decisions on the subject.

For Ricardo Pereira de Freitas Guimarães, doctor in labor law, the decision taken by the Court in São Paulo could be overturned in other instances, considering that there are decisions for and against the company in the TST (Superior Labor Court), which, according to him, “they have not yet established a firm position” on the issue.

In a note, the Uber states that the decision represents an isolated understanding and contrary to the jurisprudence that has been established by the second instance of the Regional Court of São Paulo itself in trials since 2017.

“There is evident legal uncertainty, given that only in the case involving Uber, the decision was opposite to what occurred in all judgments handed down in actions of the same content proposed by the Public Ministry of Labor.”

The company also says that it is convinced that the sentence did not consider the set of evidence in the case. “The TST has already determined in several unanimous judgments that there is no employment relationship between Uber and its partners,” says the platform.

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