Court rules Uber, Lyft must make drivers employees

Mixtape Podcast Proposition 22 and the labor divide		
			
		Henry Pickavet					Megan Rose Dickey		
	17 hours

A San Francisco judge ruled in August that Uber and Lyft had to stop classifying drivers as independent contractors, but the decision was stayed through Wednesday's appeal, which spelled out the terms of lifting the stay.

"This is an absurd lawsuit, without merit, filed exclusively for press attention and without regard for the facts, " Uber spokesman Noah Edwardsen said. "The only thing preventing that is Uber and Lyft's greed". "It is broad in scope, no doubt, but so too is the scale of the alleged violations". "But these adjectives perhaps say more about the reach of modern technology and the scale of today's technology-driven commerce than they do about the order itself".

Treating Uber and Lyft drivers as employees instead of independent contractors would guarantee benefits such as overtime, sick leave and expense reimbursement for workers who make up much of the freewheeling gig economy. The law would thus force these firms to offer job protections and other benefits to their workers. Lyft also said it also is considering appealing to the California Supreme Court.

Both companies said they were considering all legal options and encouraged constituents to vote "yes" on their proposition.

Gig Workers Rising, an organization representing some drivers, called the court's decision a huge victory.

"This ruling makes it more urgent than ever for voters to stand with drivers and vote yes on Prop. 22", Lyft said, referring to the November 3 ballot measure, which would repeal AB5 and provide drivers with more limited benefits.

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Prop 22 is a ballot measure in California that seeks to keep rideshare drivers and delivery workers classified as independent contractors.

Uber and Lyft will continue to operate as normal for now, as the ruling won't take effect immediately.

According to the Washington Post, the lawsuit alleges that Uber might actually track how drivers interact with the notifications and the survey answers and eventually favor those who support Proposition 22.

"First the state legislature, then the governor, and now the courts have all agreed that drivers are employees under state law, and Prop. 22 is nothing more than an attempt by multi-billion dollar gig companies to undo that recognition", the group said in an emailed statement.

The ruling would not take effect until a remittitur, the final step in the appeals process, is sent down by the court.

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