Reprinted from The New York Times by Matthew Haag and on November 14, 2019.
New Jersey has demanded that Uber pay $649 million for years of unpaid employment taxes for its drivers, arguing that the ride-hailing company has misclassified the workers as independent contractors and not as employees.
The state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development issued the request this week to Uber and a subsidiary, Raiser, after an audit uncovered $530 million in back taxes that had not been paid for unemployment and disability insurance from 2014 to 2018.
Because of the nonpayment, the state is seeking another $119 million in interest.
The case represents a major escalation in how states nationwide view the employment practices at the core of many app-based companies, and the first time that a local government has sought back payroll taxes from Uber, which has hundreds of thousands of drivers in the United States. …