New York Attorney General Letitia James warned law firms in February to stop trying to profit off of for-hire vehicle drivers owed money from a historic settlement, in which Uber and Lyft agreed to pay $328 million to drivers in the state (including NYC TLC licensees). The settlement resulted from an investigation into a wage theft complaint originally brought by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA). James’ specific warnings related to deceptive posts, or scams, seeking to earn a commission off of the well-publicized settlement.

James sent a cease-and-desist letter to NYC-based law firm Held & Hines LLP, warning them to immediately halt attempts to get drivers to pay a fee for their settlement funds, which were secured by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). James accused the firm of sharing deceptive posts on social media and in rideshare driver chat groups, saying it will help drivers claim their share for a 15% fee. In reality, the process is simple and does not require legal representation. Drivers were able to start submitting claims to receive settlement funds on March 1, 2024.

James also ordered the firm to disable a website “created for this unnecessary service” and to disclose any executed retainers with drivers to ensure those agreements are voided. James asserted that the firm’s actions may violate the New York Rules of Professional Conduct.

“Asking hardworking drivers – many of whom are immigrants and people of color – to pay a fee for their rightfully earned wages is unacceptable,” said James. “Uber and Lyft drivers should only trust settlement information from my office, settlement administrator Rust Consulting, and the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. I encourage anyone with knowledge of others attempting to charge drivers for their settlement payments to reach out to my office.”

In November 2023, James announced two landmark settlements with Uber and Lyft to return $328 million in back pay to drivers and institute a minimum driver “earnings floor,” paid sick leave, proper hiring and earnings notices, and other improvements in drivers’ working conditions. More than 100,000 drivers across New York stand to receive settlement funds.

Drivers must file claims by May 30, 2024. Payments will be made by check, Venmo, or Paypal and sent out within 30 days of filing. The OAG warned drivers to beware of offers to help file a settlement claim. Instead, they should contact Rust or the NYTWA for help or info: Rust (Uber): (800) 625-2332 / /; Rust (Lyft): (800) 433-5314 / /; or NYTWA: (718) 706-9892 /

Source: AutoMarketplace

Article by Black Car News

Black Car News provides breaking news, editorial, and information to drivers, owners, and other key players in the New York City for-hire vehicle industry.

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