The Rideshare Guy is a popular website and YouTube channel catering to people who drive for Uber and Lyft. It was founded and run by a man named Harry Campbell. One of the things he likes to do is partner with companies to make a buck on the backs of rideshare drivers. If there’s a company out there that has a product or service to sell to rideshare drivers, chances are The Rideshare Guy is connected to them. It’s what he does.
For example, The Rideshare Guy has partnered with a California law firm that seeks to file lawsuits against Uber and Lyft for unpaid wages on behalf of California drivers. The Rideshare Guy contributor Jay Cradeur seems to believe after using the official The Rideshare Guy lawsuit calculator, he’s owed a whopping $600,000 from Uber and Lyft.
Jay Cradeur is the same The Rideshare Guy contributor who taught drivers how to find out where their passengers were going by committing fraud through the Uber and Lyft app.
This lawsuit scheme was made possible by California AB5. It is a law that reclassifies gig workers like Uber and Lyft drivers as employees. The goal of supporters of AB5 is for rideshare drivers to unionize. The law will make it very difficult to freelance in the state of California.
Money for nothing
As of January 1st, 2020, Uber and Lyft drivers will legally be considered employees. It would seem this reclassification will be retroactive too. At least that’s what this lawsuit scheme seems to be based on. Drivers like Jay Cradeur will be able to go back in time and file lawsuits based on being an employee up to four years ago.
If you’ve watched the video, you know Cradeur has no interest in actually going to court. No, he wants to reach an out-of-court settlement with Uber and Lyft. The idea that he would broadcast this fact on YouTube for all the world to learn puts him in an inferior position to negotiate. If the other side knows you don’t want to go to court, they have the advantage.
The taxman never sleeps
I wonder if Jay Cradeur will also go back and file amended tax returns for the past four years? I ask because as a rideshare driver, we file our taxes as independent contractors. That distinction gives us all sorts of benefits with our taxes. Although we have to pay a self-employment tax, we are allowed to deduct mileage from our earnings. Not only the miles we actually drive with strangers in our vehicles but the miles that were driven in connection to being a rideshare driver. These miles really add up when you include driving from one area to another to wait for requests.
My mileage deduction applies to all the revenue I earn. Not just for being a rideshare driver, but for my personal business too. I’m a sole proprietor for tax purposes. It doesn’t matter if I’m driving for Uber and Lyft, selling WordPress plugins, or integrating a website for e-commerce. The mileage deduction is applied to all my income. This is one of the many advantages of not being anyone’s employee.
I do not want to be an employee
I would hate to lose the tax advantages I get for being an independent contractor. If I were an employee, I would not be able to deduct mileage. If I wanted to be an employee, I would go out and get a job. I like working for myself. I enjoy working when I want and stopping when I want.
The last thing I would ever want to do is sue Uber or Lyft. If I didn’t like the opportunities they provide, I wouldn’t drive for them anymore. That seems simple to me. For others, not so much.
What’s The Rideshare Guy’s cut?
I think passing AB5 was a big mistake for California. Although I don’t live there, I was born and raised there. It’s the land of my people. I think AB5 was a big win for organized labor and the grifters who want a way to score some free money. Drivers like Jay Cradeur. I wonder what The Rideshare Guy’s cut in this lawsuit scheme is. For him to encourage something like this, for his sake, I hope he made sure it’s worth it. A person’s reputation is an expensive thing to replace.