California’s new law, Proposition 22, which restricts app-based drivers to gig labor, has been found unlawful by a judge.
In October, a California appellate court decided that Uber and Lyft must treat their drivers as employees rather than gig workers, but the following month, California voters approved Proposition 22, which exempted the firms from the state law.
The rule was supported by Uber, Lyft, and Door Dash, who spent more than $200 million advocating for it, according to The Verge, while labor organizations for app-based drivers, such as the Service Employees International Union, were against it.
Uber drivers lost their complaint in October, arguing that the firm had violated their rights by bombarding them with Proposition 22 communications in the run-up to the November election.
California Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch declared Friday that the new law is unconstitutional because it limits the capacity of a future government to identify app-based drivers as workers subject to workers’ compensation laws.
Roesch went on to say that the rule is unenforceable because it applies to other app-based delivery companies like Door Dash, as well as rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft.
Roesch further claimed that the legislature’s requirement for a seven-eighths majority vote to pass any amendments was unconstitutional, and that it could instead be altered by a simple majority vote.
“We believe the judge made a serious error by ignoring a century’s worth of case law requiring the courts to guard the voters’ right of initiative,” Geoff Vetter, a spokesperson for the Protect App-Based Drivers and Services Coalition, said in a statement Friday. “We will file an immediate appeal and are confident the appellate court will uphold Prop 22.”
Meanwhile, the drivers’ lawyer, Scott Kronland, told The New York Times that the judge’s decision was “absolutely appropriate,” and that it would “be sustained on appeal.”
After the British Supreme Court determined that Uber drivers were functionally employees and not independent contractors, the company agreed to pay all British drivers a minimum wage and some benefits earlier this year.