Judge strikes down 'unconstitutional' law classifying Uber, Lyft drivers as contractors

California's Prop. 22 remains uncertain.
Friday's Superior Court ruling exempted ride-share and delivery workers being paid and treated like employees was criticized by Alameda County judge Frank Roesch. Judge Frank Roesch stated in his ruling, "It limits the power of an future legislature to determine app-based drivers workers subject to workers' compensation law."

Since Prop. 22 in 2020, Uber and Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors, as well as other gig workers across California. 22 was adopted.

Although Gig worker unions had been fighting hard against the measure for years, Californians ultimately supported Prop. 22 was approved by 58 percent of voters. Ride-share companies backed the proposition heavily, as they stand to make a profit if delivery drivers and drivers are not treated as employees. Lyft and Uber both introduced bills in Massachusetts earlier this month that were based on Prop. 22.

This ruling is cause for celebration for gig workers, their allies.

Shona Clarkson is the lead organizer for Gig Workers Rising. This workers' advocacy group is called Prop. 22 A "corporate power grab"

This is not only harmful to gig workers, but also dangerous to our democracy. Clarkson stated that the fight for gig workers is not over until they receive living wages, benefits, and a voice on the job they do.

The ruling is not likely to have any immediate impact on Uber and Lyft, however, as they are already preparing to appeal.

"The companies will no doubt appeal but our fight for justice took an important step forward today," tweeted the Mobile Workers Alliance, a group composed of ride-share workers seeking better treatment.

Any changes to Prop. 22 and the law will be stopped once an appeal has been filed. According to Uber spokespersons, 22 will continue in force as it is.

Uber spokesperson stated in an email that the ruling ignored the will of the vast majority of California voters, and defied logic and law. We don't have to tell you: The California Attorney General strongly supported Prop 22's constitutionality in this case.

A pro-Prop. 22 group that was supported by Uber, Lyft and Instacart called the Protect App Based Drivers & Services Coalition the "outrageous decision" as well as "an affront the overwhelming majority California voters who passed Prop 22" in an emailed statement.

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