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Appeals Court: Uber Drivers Must Resolve Claims Individually

Eric Risberg / AP

FILE - In this Dec. 16, 2014, file photo a man leaves the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco.

Eric Risberg / AP

(AP) - In a victory for Uber, a federal appeals court says drivers for the most part have to resolve claims against the company individually and not through a class action lawsuit.

The ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday came in a lawsuit by Uber drivers over the company's background checks.

But it also affects drivers in a separate suit who accuse the ride-hailing service of exploiting them by treating them as independent contractors instead of employees. That's because the arbitration clause the ruling upheld also applies to the vast majority of the roughly 380,000 drivers in that lawsuit.

Those drivers will now have less leverage against Uber as they pursue claims individually through arbitration instead of as a group through a class action suit.