A Florida Uber driver says the company’s no-firearms policy for drivers violates his concealed carry rights under Florida state law.
Plaintiff Jose Mejia says defendant Uber Technologies Inc. issued a new policy in June 2015 forbidding its drivers from carrying firearms while driving for Uber. Mejia argues this policy violates a Florida law that forbids employers from interfering with their employees’ constitutional right to carry firearms.
Mejia has been driving for Uber since March 2016 in Florida’s Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. He holds a Florida concealed carry license, and he wants to keep a firearm in his vehicle while he drives for Uber. Mejia raises the case under Florida’s Preservation and Protection of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Motor Vehicles Act of 2008.
As stated in this Uber class action lawsuit, the law claims to protect employee’s gun rights from restrictions by their employer, whether or not the employer is a public or private entity. Among other requirements, the law says employers may not prohibit employees from possessing firearms that are locked inside a vehicle in a parking lot while the employee is in the area. Employers are also prohibited from conditioning employment on any agreement that prevents the employee from keeping a firearm locked inside a vehicle.
Employees affected by violations of this law can bring a civil lawsuit to enforce their rights against the employer, Mejia says. Mejia’s claims rely on the impression that under Florida law, he is an employee of Uber and not merely a contractor. This issue of employee-versus-contractor is key to an entire wave of litigation brought against Uber over the past several years by drivers claiming the legal rights that employees are entitled to.
In one legal suit recently filed in California, plaintiff Thomas McCartney attempts to force Uber to provide California workers compensation benefits to drivers like himself who were injured while driving for Uber.
Uber has persistently disputed the idea that its drivers are employees. The company insists that they are independent contractors and that the company itself is merely a technology company that facilitates business transactions between riders and drivers, with no legal obligations to those drivers under any sort of employment relationship.
Mejia seeks to bring his claims on behalf of a plaintiff class consisting of all Uber drivers in the state of Florida who are licensed to carry a concealed firearm between the date the Uber class action is filed and the date the class notice is distributed.
He is asking the court to permanently order Uber from imposing its allegedly unlawful no-firearms policy on its drivers. He also seeks an award of damages, court costs and attorneys’ fees. If you are in need of a Miami Attorney, call The Ben Law Firm today!