Sept. 25 (UPI) -- The San Francisco federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled against Uber drivers who are suing the company under a class action lawsuit for better pay and benefits.
The decision affirmed a 2016 ruling that found Uber's contractual agreements with individual drivers were valid and enforceable, therefore preventing nearly 400,000 former and current drivers in California and Massachusetts from going forward with a class action lawsuit against the ride-sharing company, Bloomberg reported.
Shannon Liss-Riordan of Lichten & Liss-Riordan, P.C., the law firm representing the drivers, said the disputes might have to be done individually.
"We have, unfortunately, been long expecting this," she said in a statement. "Thousands of drivers have already signed up for individual arbitration. If Uber wants to resolve these disputes one by one, we are ready to do that -- one by one."
Uber drivers are hired as independent contractors, which allows Uber to pay them less and not have to provide any benefits, such as health insurance, or provide any reimbursements for gas or car maintenance.
In 2013, Liss-Riordan filed the initial lawsuit on behalf of thousands of drivers demanding that Uber classify drivers as employees. But that effort has been an uphill battle since the 2016 ruling, as well as the Trump administration's decision to no longer support the drivers through the National Labor Relations Board, reversing an Obama administration decision.
Liss-Riordan said she and Uber drivers involved in the lawsuit are considering the next step.
"We are considering our options, including an en banc [full court] appeal to the entire Ninth Circuit. In the meantime ... we are urging all Uber drivers who want to pursue these misclassification claims to contact us immediately to sign up for individual arbitration," she said.