A few weeks ago, a contingent of rideshare drivers, labor unions, and members of the California State Legislature banded together to challenge the constitutionality of a recently-passed ballot measure, Proposition 22. The law, which limited worker protections previously granted in 2018’s Assembly Bill 5, sought to give rideshare providers and other companies that utilize the gig economy greater autonomy from California’s employee benefit requirements.
Originally, Assembly Bill 5 had required that these companies – which include big names like Uber and Lyft – to provide their employees with protections like unemployment, minimum wage, sick leave, and worker’s compensation. However, after these entities banded together to push back in the form of a $200 million ballot measure, they gained the upper hand by winning over 58% voter support. The resulting Proposition 22 made some concessions on behalf of app-based organizations in return for the right to classify their workers as independent contractors instead of employees.
Here is an update on the subsequent legal battle:
Filing with the Supreme Court
After the passing of Proposition 22, gig workers teamed up with other labor advocacy groups to contend the resulting change in the law. They argued that the new bill was unconstitutional, as it disenfranchised workers and impeded the ability for lawmakers to implement workers’ compensation measures, as well as provisions within the proposition which made the law extremely difficult to change or repeal after it passed.
Essentially, the opposition was fighting for the right to be classified as full-blown employees rather than the contractor designation that their employers were after. They proceeded to file suit directly with the California Supreme Court, hoping that their concerns would be heard by the highest court in the state, though many legal experts acknowledged this would be an uphill battle.
Relegation to Lower Courts
After waiting a few weeks, both parties got their answer – The California Supreme Court will not be covering this any time soon. Justices declined to hear the case brought by drivers and unions who opposed the measure. The most expensive ballot measure in state history must first be handled in the lower courts before having the opportunity to be appealed to the high courts.
Some have speculated that the reason why the California Supreme Court has decided to hold off on hearing this case is its lack of urgency as well as some factual inconsistencies associated with its assertions. In addition to the legal footing that is to be debated, these factual discrepancies will need to be sorted out before we can ever see this escalate.
Contact Gokal Law
Are you a gig worker and feel that your employer may be treating you unfairly? Contact Jibit Cinar of Gokal Law Group, Inc. Our team specializes in litigation and counseling related to employment and labor law and will diligently represent you in the courts. In short, we will give you the support you need to win your case. The sooner you contact us, the more effective we are at getting you the justice you deserve.
Gokal Law Group is a family firm that treats our clients as if they were our own flesh and blood. We fight for our clients as we would our own children, sisters, brothers, and parents. We are our clients’ Warriors, fighting to bring them justice and right the wrongs they have endured.
Each attorney has a specific practice area for which they are tried, tested, and battle-ready. Each has vast years of experience in their practice area, providing them the knowledge, skills, and vision to fight and win. Learn more about Gokal Law Group.