California court mostly upholds Prop. 22 in victory for Uber and other gig companies End-shutdown

The Service Employees International Union condemned the decision.

“Every California voter should be concerned about the growing influence of corporations in our democracy and their ability to spend millions of dollars to mislead voters and buy laws,” David Huerta, president of SEIU California, said in a statement.

Jon Streeter, one of three appeals court judges, disagreed with much of the 63-page ruling by his colleagues, Tracie Brown and Stuart Pollak. In a 64-page dissent, Justice Streeter wrote that all of Proposition 22 should be thrown out, largely because of its clause limiting the legislature’s workers’ compensation authority for concert conductors.

“I would confirm the sentence, but I prefer to go further. I believe we should strike down Proposition 22 in its entirety,” Justice Streeter wrote. She added that the definition of independent contractors used in the measure was “constitutionally invalid.”

Uber and other companies have long argued that drivers value the flexibility of being an independent contractor with no set hours from an employer, and say they would have to give up that freedom if they became employees. Labor activists counter that drivers are exploited, deserve better health care and job benefits, and could maintain their flexibility under a traditional employment model.

Gig companies spent more than $200 million promoting Proposition 22, which gave concert workers limited benefits but exempted them from Assembly Bill 5, a law passed by the California Legislature in 2019 that established a new standard for determining whether workers should be considered employees under the law. law.

If AB 5, which is facing its own legal challenge, is ever applied to concert drivers, Uber and other companies could be found to be improperly treating those drivers as independent contractors rather than employees.

As a result, concert companies would have to adjust their business models at a cost of several hundred million dollars per year, either by giving drivers greater independence or, more likely, making some of them employees, possibly of a third party vehicle. fleet operator that would use the Uber and Lyft platforms.

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