Uber Drivers Could Gain Thousands in Pay, Benefits as Full-time Employees


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Uber drivers in six major U.S. cities would receive paid holidays and health care benefits worth?typically $5,500 a?year, plus thousands more in mileage reimbursement, when the company provided them with exactly the same benefits as its full-time employees, based on a new NerdWallet study.

The California Labor Commissioner’s Office ruled?in June that Barbara Berwick, who worked being an Uber driver just for under 8 weeks, was an employee from the company as opposed to a contractor. The ruling?ordered Uber to reimburse Berwick $3,878 for mileage and tolls plus $274 in interest.

Similarly, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity decided?in May that former Uber driver Darrin McGillis had been an employee, entitling him to unemployment benefits, based on a study within the Miami Herald.

While both decisions?affect the individuals involved only and Uber is appealing, if upheld, drivers nationwide could be?motivated to seek status as full-time Uber employees.

The decisions?related specifically to expenses and unemployment insurance. Drivers stand to gain much more if Uber recognizes them as full-time employees. Based on what Uber offers employees, drivers might expect:

  • Fully covered health insurance, including dental and vision benefits
  • Nine paid holidays
  • Business-driving reimbursement

Uber already provides car insurance for drivers when they’re carrying passengers or are for sale to trips, but drivers still need to buy coverage for personal use of their cars.

Paid holidays

In a study released in January, Uber said?that 14% of its over 160,000 drivers within the U.S. worked a minimum of 35 hours per week. Uber said drivers working full-time earned typically $17.56 an hour nationwide. Figuring an eight-hour workday, the average hourly wage adds up?to $1,264.32 for that nine paid holidays each year if the drivers were full-time employees.

Based on the hourly wage reported by Uber in every city, we calculated the quantity drivers could gain if they were paid for the nine holidays in six places.

  • Boston: In an hourly wage of $20.78, drivers often see $1,496.16 for nine holidays.
  • Chicago: In an hourly wage of $16.21, drivers could see $1,167.12 for nine holidays.
  • Los Angeles: At an hourly wage of ?$17.07, drivers often see $1,229.04 for nine holidays.
  • New York: At an hourly wage of $29.65, drivers often see $2,134.80 for nine holidays.
  • San Francisco: At an hourly wage of $26.17, drivers often see $1,884.24 for nine holidays.
  • Washington, D.C.: In an hourly wage of $17.70, drivers could see $1,274.40 for nine holidays.


Health insurance

NerdWallet checked out average annual health care expenditures in every city to judge what this benefit can often mean for drivers. According to our analysis, here’s the value of health care that drivers could be prepared to get every year from Uber if they become full-time employees:

  • Boston: $4,518
  • Chicago: $3,982
  • Los Angeles: $2,859
  • New York: $3,585
  • San Francisco: $4,312
  • Washington, D.C.: $4,450

This could mean savings for drivers who are paying for insurance or more healthcare for drivers who’re avoiding treatment due to the cost.

Mileage reimbursement

Reimbursement of car-related expenses can be the biggest benefit. Berwick, the California driver, place in 6,468 miles for Uber in only under 8 weeks, according to the decision, which ordered Uber to reimburse her?at the IRS rate, currently at 57.5 cents miles. Berwick’s driving, extrapolated to some twelve month, would add up to 38,808 miles, meaning $22,315 in reimbursement.

The reimbursement rates are intended to cover the price of driving, including gas, oil, insurance, repairs, tires, maintenance and depreciation. AAA estimates the particular cost per mile for any small sedan is 58.2 cents for drivers who placed on 10,000 miles per year, 44.9 cents at 15,000 miles annually and 38 cents for 20,000 miles annually.

Berwick won mileage reimbursement because California requires companies to supply it to employees. While there is no federal requirement, NerdWallet assumed for the purpose of this research that Uber would provide reimbursement in the IRS rate in other states since the company is based in California.

Auto insurance

Uber provides liability and uninsured motorist coverage while drivers take presctiption a trip for that company. When drivers are for sale to trips, Uber provides lesser protection that applies when personal insurance doesn’t cover any sort of accident. But drivers still need to buy policies for personal use of the vehicles. With that in mind, listed here are average annual auto insurance rates for each from the six cities:

  • Boston: $1,174.50
  • Chicago: $1,243.52
  • Los Angeles: $1,175.61
  • New York: $1,614.71
  • San Francisco: $1,013.90
  • Washington, D.C.: $1,390.88


Compare quotes side-by-side using NerdWallet’s auto insurance tool



NerdWallet assumed for that purpose of this research that Uber would provide drivers with similar benefits because it gives current full-time employees, including nine paid holidays; fully paid medical, dental and vision plans; and mileage reimbursement in the IRS rate.

We calculated holiday compensation using Uber data on average hourly earnings of drivers who worked a full-time schedule. We estimated the value of the care package using Bureau of Labor Statistics data on per capita health expenditures. We compared the government reimbursement rate for mileage with AAA’s reported cost per mile for a small sedan driven over 20,000 miles a year.

Average annual car insurance rates for each location are?from NerdWallet.

Jeffrey Chu is an analyst covering insurance for NerdWallet.

NerdWallet staff writer Aubrey Cohen led to this article.

Image via Uber.