Court rules California gig worker initiative is unconstitutional

App-based gig workers hold a demonstration outside Los Angeles City Hall to urge voters to vote no on Proposition 22, a November ballot measure that would classify app-based drivers as independent contractors and not employees or agents, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., October 8, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Aug 20 (Reuters) – A California judge on Friday ruled that a 2020 ballot measure that exempted ride-share and food delivery drivers from a state labor law is unconstitutional as it infringed on the legislature’s power to set standards at the workplace.

Proposition 22 is unconstitutional as “it limits the power of a future Legislature to define app-based drivers as workers subject to workers’ compensation law”, which makes the entire ballot measure “unenforceable”, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch wrote in the ruling.

Gig economy companies including Uber (UBER.N), Lyft (LYFT.O), Doordash (DASH.N) and Instacart were pushing to keep drivers’ independent contractor status, albeit with additional benefits. read more

The ballot measure was meant to cement app-based food delivery and ride-hail drivers’ status as independent contractors, not employees.

Known as Proposition 22, it marked the culmination of years of legal and legislative wrangling over a business model that has introduced millions of people to the convenience of ordering food or a ride with the push of a button.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru;

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Source: Reuters

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