Jun 29, 2017

Uber has met with SEC about giving drivers equity

Jeff Chiu / AP

Uber has held multiple meetings with the SEC about how it can provide equity to its drivers, who are contractors rather than employees, Axios has learned from a source familiar with the situation.

  • Why it matters: If Uber and the SEC come to an agreement, it could provide a legal template for other gig economy companies. It also could help Uber better recruit and retain drivers.
  • Book excerpt: "Kalanick lights up. He says he wants to give equity to drivers... but Uber has found the securities-law implications to be complicated." – from Wild Ride by Adam Lashinsky, in reference to former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.
  • Context: New York-based ride-hail company Juno had promised drivers restricted stock units (so long as they met certain requirements), but the SEC objected to the structure. So much so, in fact, that Juno told drivers via email that it was "considering, among other things, whether the RSUs previously granted were void under the terms of the RSU program." That same email also announced that Juno was being acquired by Israel-based Gett, which effectively voided the RSUs anyway (with Juno drivers basically getting bupkus).
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