Judge rules California Prop 22 gig workers law is unconstitutional

A judge ruled that California's gig workers law (which allows companies like Uber or Lyft to treat workers in California as independent contractors and not employees) was unconstitutional. Voters approved Proposition 22 as a ballot initiative in November. Companies like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash spent more than $200 million on campaigning for the measure. It was opposed by labor organizations including the Service Employees International Union.
Frank Roesch, a California Superior Court Judge, ruled Friday that Proposition 22 illegally restricts the power of a future legislature for app-based drivers to be workers subject to workers comp law. Additionally, he ruled that any future amendments must have a seven-eighths approval vote to pass the legislature.

A group of Uber and Lyft drivers filed a lawsuit in January to challenge the law. The law exempts gig employers, but does require that they provide healthcare subsidies and minimum hourly earnings.

It seems to be only for the economic benefit of the network companies...

Roesch criticized the section of the law that required any future California state law regarding collective bargaining for gig workers must comply with Prop 22. He wrote that it appears to be only for the economic benefit of network companies by allowing a disunited workforce. This is not the stated goal of the legislation.

Geoff Vetter, a spokesperson of the Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Coalition, (PADS), which includes Uber and Lyft as well as DoorDash and Instacart, stated in a statement emailed directly to The Verge that they intend to appeal. Vetter pointed out that the judge ignored a century of case law that required courts to protect the voters right to initiative. Vetter also noted that the measure was approved by the majority of California voters. Until the appeal process is completed, all provisions of Prop 22 will continue to be in force.