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Drivers and labor union seek to overturn new California Prop 22 law

January 12, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 48.1%. 1 min read.

Rideshare drivers demonstrate against rideshare companies Uber and Lyft during a car caravan protest on August 6, 2020 in Los Angeles. - The drivers, organized by the Mobile Workers Alliance and Rideshare Drivers United unions, say Uber and Lyft's are pushing a "deceptive" November ballot initiative, which, if passed, they claim would "rewrite labor law" and turn app-based drivers into independent contractors, exempting companies such as Lyft and Uber from standard wage and hour restrictions. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

The fight over the future of gig economy work in California isn't over.

A labor union and a group of gig workers filed a lawsuit on Tuesday challenging Proposition 22, or Prop 22, the controversial California ballot measure passed by voters in November that exempts firms like Uber and Lyft from having to classify their drivers in the state as employees rather than independent contractors.

The lawsuit, filed in California's Supreme Court by Service Employees International Union (SEIU), three ridehail drivers and one ridehail customer, seeks to overturn Prop 22.

Prop 22 was bankrolled by Uber, Lyft, Instacart and DoorDash, who spent more than $200 million combined on its passage, underscoring how important worker classification is to their future.

"Nearly 10 million California voters -- including the vast majority of app-based drivers -- passed Prop 22 to protect driver independence, while providing historic new protections," Pyatt said in the statement.

Prop 22 came in reaction to a state labor law, Assembly Bill 5 or AB-5, that went into effect January 1, 2020 and codified an "ABC" test to determine if workers are employees who are entitled to labor protections and benefits.

Under Prop 22, the companies can continue to treat drivers as independent contractors while granting some drivers benefit concessions, but not the full suite of protections that workers would have gotten had the measure not passed.

Prop 22, and the legal dispute around it, could have ramifications beyond the state of California.

Schoonover called Prop 22 "an attack on California's rights that if left unchecked will grant permission to companies like Uber and Lyft to dismantle workers' rights across the country. "

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