Uber, Lyft Drivers File Lawsuit Over Prop 22 In California

Gig workers in California who drive for Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare and delivery platforms have filed a lawsuit in the state’s Supreme Court seeking to overturn Proposition 22, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday, January 13.

The California ballot initiative Prop 22 was upheld on Election Day in November, with 58% of voters supporting the measure that defines gig workers as independent contractors. The lawsuit claims that the new mandate is unconstitutional because it limits the government’s ability to empower workers to form unions. It also prevents drivers from getting workers’ compensation.

The ballot measure was promoted and supported by a US$200 million campaign funded by Uber, Lyft, and similar platforms. Labor unions burned through some US$20 million to fight the measure, and have now joined the new lawsuit filed by drivers.

Before Prop 22, California lawmakers were pushing for gig workers to be classified as company employees, which would make them eligible for health insurance and other benefits and provide protection against job loss.

“Prop. 22 doesn’t just fail our state rideshare drivers; it fails the basic test of following our state constitution,” Bob Schoonover of the Service Employees International Union told the AP. “The law as written by Uber and Lyft denies drivers rights under the law in California and makes it nearly impossible for lawmakers to fix these problems.”