Uber and Lyft Drivers Ordered by California Judge to Classify Drivers as Employees
Photo by Dan Gold
Last Thursday, a California judge permitted preliminary junction and ordered the two ride-share giants to make their drivers employees.
With less than two weeks away from the general election, voters can still elect on Proposition 22, since the new ruling does not take effect for the next 30 days after the election.
Uber and Lyft have been against Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5) and do not want to treat their riders as employees, and prefer the public to decide on the measures of the ballot this season. Many independent contractors are also in opposition of the bill and say it impedes their ability to create their own schedules under the gig economy.
“This ruling makes it more than ever for voters to stand with drivers and vote yes on Prop 22,” Julie Wood, a spokesperson at Lyft said.
The two companies say the new law does not apply to them and will not reconcile with workers rights by stating they are tech companies and not a transportation service.
Before the law was in effect, the companies treated their riders as independent contractors, giving these two companies the opportunity to bypass giving benefits.
Given if Uber and Lyft drivers are employed as workers, it would permit benefits over time such as paid sick leave and health insurance.
Both companies have warned that if contractors become employees, then they would have to hire fewer drivers and increase prices.
“Californians have fought long and hard for paycheck and benefit protections. Uber and Lyft have used their muscle and clout to resist treating their drivers as workers entitled to those paycheck and benefit protections,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement.