California is seeking to force Uber and Lyft to reclassify its drivers as employees after classifying them as independent contractors. The two ride-hailing companies have been accused of treating drivers as contractors to deny them their privileges in the company.
The privileges include wage and hour laws, including the right to minimum wage, overtime, meal breaks, and reimbursement of business expenses, payroll withholdings which are not eligible to contractors.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with city attorneys of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego, in May sued Uber and Lyft, arguing that their drivers were misclassified as independent contractors when they should be employees under the state’s AB5 law effected January 1st 2020.
“Californians who drive for Uber and Lyft lack basic worker protections,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in May.
“The vast majority of drivers want to work independently, and we’ve already made significant changes to our app to ensure that remains the case under California law. When over 3 million Californians are without a job, our elected leaders should be focused on creating work, not trying to shut down an entire industry.” an Uber spokesperson said
Commenting on the same, a Lyft spokesperson argued that California’s voters should decide the issue. The company, along with Uber, Instacart, and DoorDash, is funding a $90 million effort to pass a ballot initiative in November to counteract the effects of AB5.
“We believe the courts should let the voters decide,” the Lyft spokesperson said. “Trying to force drivers to give up their independence 100 days before the election threatens to put a million more people out of work at the worst possible time. It would be incredibly harmful to millions of people and the California economy to grant this motion 100 days before the voters decide, and we will oppose this motion.”