SACRAMENTO, CA — Uber may shut down its operations in California if it is forced to classify drivers as real human beings, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on Wednesday. The company is appealing a judge’s order to stop treating drivers and food delivery personnel as mindless beasts of burden who are not eligible to receive employee benefits.
Mr. Khosrowshahi made dire predictions of Uber’s continued success after the California attorney general sued the ride-hailing behemoth for misclassifying drivers as “sub-human troglodytes” that were not subject to the state’s labor mandates for health insurance or paid time-off.
“This suit poses an existential threat to our proven business model,” Khosrowshahi said of Uber’s practice of hiring “brute savages who can mimic human speech” to perform the skilled, and often dangerous, cab and delivery services. “Our drivers receive world-class benefits, from the on-site veterinarians, the communal slops buckets, and we’ve even provided ‘almost-cage-free’ housing to our drivers displaced by Covid-19.”
Although the courts are slowly filling their dockets, Uber’s legal strategy hinges on a technicality. “The attorneys general raising this suit are completely out of their jurisdiction;” notes counsel from Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher, the law firm leading Uber’s defense against the drivers, “this really should be a case for animal control.”