A gaggle of Uber and Lyft drivers in California filed a lawsuit Tuesday in state supreme court docket to overturn a poll measure that permits the businesses to proceed treating its employees like unbiased contractors.
The drivers declare that Prop 22, which was approved by California voters last November, violates the state’s structure by “stripping” the state legislature’s means to empower employees to prepare, in addition to by “illegally” excluding ride-hail drivers from the state employees’ compensation program.
“Each day, rideshare drivers like me wrestle to make ends meet as a result of firms like Uber and Lyft prioritize company income over our wellbeing,” plaintiff Saori Okawa mentioned in an announcement. “With Prop 22, they’re not simply ignoring our well being and security — they’re discarding our state’s structure.”
The drivers difficult the constitutionality of Prop 22 are being supported by labor unions like SEIU and the California Labor Federation, which unsuccessfully opposed the measure within the run-up to the election.
However finally labor was outspent and outmaneuvered by firms like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash, which poured over $200 million into the “Sure on 22” marketing campaign to exempt them from a California state legislation that will require them to deal with their employees like staff. The companies aggressively opposed the law, arguing it could get rid of driver flexibility, whereas additionally rising client costs and wait instances.
The legislation, AB5, represented an existential crisis for the businesses, none of which have ever turned a revenue and which have pursued pricey efforts to develop autonomous expertise within the hopes of finally changing drivers and supply employees solely. In response, the businesses proposed a poll measure that will hold their employees as contractors, whereas additionally offering a modicum of added advantages.
It’s unclear how profitable drivers might be in overturning Prop 22. The measure was written in a technique to stand up to future challenges, together with a provision that requires a seven-eighths majority of the state legislature for any modification, and guaranteeing that it is going to be all however inconceivable to invalidate.
However drivers try to make use of this language to argue that Prop 22 was unlawful from its inception. The plaintiffs notice that California’s state structure provides the legislature “limitless” authority to supply for a employee’s compensation system, “in order that authority can’t be restricted by a statutory initiative.”
“We sit up for the court docket affirming that gig firms can’t strip employees of their basic proper to cut price for higher pay and dealing situations — and that firms alone mustn’t dictate the legal guidelines in our state,” mentioned Bob Schoonover, president of SEIU Native 721 and SEIU California State Council, in an announcement.
There have been poll measures efficiently repealed in California previously, however principally by means of extra poll measures. If the lawsuit fails, drivers’ and supportive unions’ solely different recourse to overturn Prop 22 could also be one other poll initiative.
Drivers are organizing automobile caravans in San Francisco and Los Angeles in assist of the lawsuit in opposition to Prop 22.