A federal court in the United States has ruled that a former courier for American food delivery company Grubhub was actually an employee and not self-employed. According to the man’s lawyer, the ruling could have major ramifications for other platform companies in the United States. This is an issue that plays a role in the Netherlands as well.
According to the ruling, Grupp must pay compensation for the period he worked for the company. That was in 2015 and 2016.
Grubhub, which is part of the multinational Just Eat Takeaway, like Dutch Thuisbezorgd.nl, must ensure that the former employee receives at least the minimum wage applicable to all employees. Because the former employee did not work more than 40 hours in any week, the group was not required to pay overtime.
The company disagrees with the decision and is considering the next course of action. Grupp’s attorney responded to a special rule that applies in California, where the case is taking place. As a result, ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft, and therefore Grubhub, would be allowed to treat their employees as independent entrepreneurs, the lawyer says.
In the Netherlands, the Supreme Court recently reached a decision similar to the US court. The High Dutch Court affirmed earlier rulings by lower courts that Deliveroo providers were in fact employees and not independent entrepreneurs.
According to Professor of Employment Law at the University of Amsterdam Ewert Verhulp, the Supreme Court ruling should also make other sectors that work with the self-employed, such as childcare and healthcare, think twice.
For many companies in the Netherlands, hiring the self-employed is still attractive because the government won’t implement it until 2025. Verhalp called it “amazing” in a conversation with ANP last week. He pointed out that most employers will only take steps in 2024 to, for example, hire self-employed people without employees.
Also Read: Food delivery giant Just Eat Takeaway’s US subsidiary Group CEO exits
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