Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Wait! #Uber and #Lyft WON’T Shut Down in California – Appeals Court Rules in Their Favor

UPdate

We’ve just learned that #Uber and #Lyft have been granted a stay!

That means Lyft and Uber will NOT suspend their ride-hailing services in California tonight, Thursday at midnight, after a state appeals court ruled in their favor regarding an injunction against the companies. The move follows a court order in California that requires the companies to reclassify drivers as employees.

 “While we won’t have to suspend operations tonight, we do need to continue fighting for independence plus benefits for drivers,” said Lyft spokeswoman Julie Wood.

Here is what we reported earlier …

*The situation in California is getting scary as far as Lyft and Uber are concerned.

What’s happening is that efforts to bring gig economy companies in compliance with state labor law AB5 could fester open this week. By Friday, the millions of Californians who use Uber and Lyft to hail rides may find themselves forced to resort to other modes of transportation. If and when the companies resume service here, it could be in a dramatically different form reports the LA Times.

If you missed it here’s the back story. In early August, a San Francisco Superior Court judge ordered the companies to classify their drivers as employees rather than independent contractors, building in a 10-day window for the companies to appeal the move. With that window closing Thursday night, Uber and Lyft are threatening to shut down services at midnight Thursday, saying they cannot transition their business models quickly enough. Lyft reiterated that threat in a blog post Thursday morning, saying, “This is not something we wanted to do.”

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The move was part of the state’s efforts to force the companies to comply with landmark employment law Assembly Bill 5, which established stricter standards for companies to treat workers as independent contractors rather than employees. Essentially designed to grant employment benefits to gig workers, the law went into effect Jan. 1, but companies such as Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Postmates have vehemently resisted compliance..

Uber and Lyft have indicated any shutdowns could continue through the November election, when California voters will decide on a ballot initiative that would largely undo AB 5 by carving out a new category of work for drivers. The companies have spent millions on the initiative and an advertising campaign to support it.

“Uber and Lyft are threatening to kill jobs in California. I believe the companies are trying to force us into a decision around giving them what they want, and that’s Prop. 22, which is to keep denying us basic labor protections and benefits we have earned,” said Cherri Murphy, a ride-hailing company driver for about three years.

Get the rest of this story at LA Times.

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