Uber scolded by judge for its confusing new contract

He also ruled that drivers currently suing Uber won't be affected by the new terms.

Uber got into more hot water on Thursday as part of its class-action lawsuit, which centers on drivers seeking to be reclassified as employees, rather than just being contracted. Federal Judge Edward Chen admonished the company for rolling out a new driver agreement last week, Ars Technica reports, which pushed workers to give up their right to sue the company and seek private arbitration for labor disputes. Drivers are able to opt out of the contract within 30 days, but that also requires emailing Uber. Chen wasn't clear if the court could actually stop the new agreement, but he ruled that it doesn't bar drivers currently suing Uber. Additionally, he noted that Uber can't communicate with the members of that suit without going through the court first.

"When you issue a notice to everyone -- and even if it's intended only to affect only those existing class members, not non-certified class claims -- that's a subtle distinction," Chen said. "That's a pretty subtle distinction, and likely, frankly, to engender confusion. The agreement does not state that it won't be enforced against them. You have to discern that, I guess, by knowing the operation of law and reading the press releases -- that's confusing."

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