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Unions and gig drivers sue to overturn California’s Proposition 22

Drivers for Uber, Lyft and different app-based companies filed a lawsuit Tuesday to overturn a California poll initiative that classifies them as unbiased contractors as an alternative of staff eligible for advantages and job protections.

The lawsuit filed with the California Supreme Court docket contends that Proposition 22 is unconstitutional as a result of it limits the facility of the state legislature to grant employees the appropriate to arrange and excludes drivers from eligibility for employees’ compensation.

The measure, which was handed in November with 58% assist, was the most costly in state historical past. DoorDash, Lyft, Uber and different app-based firms spent $200 million in assist of it. Labor unions, which joined drivers within the lawsuit, spent about $20 million to oppose the measure.

“Prop 22 does not simply fail our state rideshare drivers, it fails the essential check of following our state structure,” mentioned Bob Schoonover of the SEIU union. “The regulation as written by Uber and Lyft denies drivers rights beneath the regulation in California and makes it practically not possible for lawmakers to repair these issues.”

“Daily, rideshare drivers like me wrestle to make ends meet as a result of firms like Uber and Lyft prioritize company income over our wellbeing,” Saori Okawa, a plaintiff within the swimsuit, mentioned in an announcement. “I do know it is as much as the folks we elect to make our legal guidelines, not rich executives who revenue from our labor.”

Lyft and Uber didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

A protracted authorized battle

The lawsuit is the most recent chapter in a multi-year battle between high-tech gig firms and labor rights teams. Gig firms have held they’re exempt from California’s landmark labor regulation AB5, which Democrats within the legislature handed in 2019 and which made it harder to categorise sure employees as unbiased contractors.

That regulation expanded a California Supreme Court docket ruling that will have required gig platforms to supply drivers with protections like minimal wage, time beyond regulation pay, medical health insurance and reimbursement for bills.

Proposition 22 was written by Uber and Lyft and supported by DoorDash, Postmates and Instacart. When the poll measure handed final November, proponents mentioned it confirmed voters’ assist for the present system, which permits drivers some measure of flexibility to set their very own schedules and retains gig companies comparatively inexpensive for purchasers. Opponents accused the gig firms of shopping for their very own regulation, and vowed to maintain preventing.

Underneath Proposition 22, drivers stay unbiased contractors exempt from these necessities, however do obtain some “different advantages,” together with a assured minimal wage and subsidies for medical health insurance in the event that they common 25 hours of labor every week. The proposition features a provision that requires a seven-eighths majority to overturn or change the measure sooner or later.

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