Uber Settles Class-Action Lawsuits For Price Of Up To $100 Million

The challenged presented a major threat to Uber's business model.

By Dan Levine

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Ride service Uber has agreed to pay up to $100 million to settle a class action lawsuit over whether its California drivers are employees or independent contractors, resolving a major challenge to its business model.

The settlement maintains Uber drivers as independent contractors, even though the lawsuit had alleged that Uber drivers are employees entitled to reimbursement of expenses.

Out of the $100 million proposed payment, $84 million is guaranteed to drivers and $16 million is contingent on an increase in Uber's value.

Uber announced some changes in its business practices, including the institution of a policy for deactivation of drivers, chief executive Travis Kalanick said in a blog post about the settlement.

Uber is "pleased" that the deal "recognizes that drivers should remain as independent contractors, not employees," Kalanick said in the post.

The settlement must be approved by a San Francisco federal judge.

(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Michael Perry)