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Lyft faces lawsuit over workers comp fees

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A Lyft driver in New York City filed a class action lawsuit on Wednesday in his home state accusing the rideshare company of illegally deducting workers compensation fees from his and other drivers’ pay.

Gustavo Camilo, who began driving for Lyft in 2014, claims San Francisco-based Lyft Inc. has been charging passengers a 2.5% fee for the New York City taxi workers comp fund and subsequently docking that same amount from its drivers’ wages, calling the scheme “illegal wage deductions,” per the 24-page complaint filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

Also named in the suit are the three New York-based subsidiary companies that Lyft created to do business in New York to obtain New York Taxi and Limousine Commission licenses and comply with state and local regulations. Regulations stipulate that rideshare organizations must place a 2.5% surcharge on fares for payment into the New York Black Car Fund, which pays workers comp benefits to taxi drivers.

The suit claims that in addition to collecting the fee and sales taxes from passengers, Lyft included another 2.5% workers comp fee included in an overall 11.4% “administrative purposes” charge, on top of the 20% commission paid to the company. 

It is likely there are “thousands of members” in the class action lawsuit, according to the complaint, which is asking for reimbursement of fees plus interest, litigation fees and other demands.  

Lyft could not be reached for comment.