California appeals court hears arguments in Uber, Lyft gig worker lawsuit

In this news, we discuss the California appeals court hears arguments in Uber, Lyft gig worker lawsuit.

(Reuters) – A California appeals court on Tuesday heard arguments from lawyers for Uber Technologies Inc, Lyft Inc and the State of California on whether the state can recognize their drivers as ’employees entitled to minimum wage, overtime payment, health insurance and unemployment insurance.

The case is part of a battle over the future of California’s so-called odd-job economy. In January, the state implemented a law that makes it harder for hail, food delivery and other app-based businesses to classify workers as independent contractors.

While state law gives the appeals court 90 days to make a decision, a decision on the future of concert work will likely be made by California voters on November 3.

Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, InstaCart, and Postmates collectively spent more than $ 184 million to draft and support a voting measure that would overturn the State Office Workers Act, also known as AB5.

In May, California and the cities of Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco sued Uber and Lyft for allegedly violating AB5 by refusing to reclassify drivers. In August, a California judge ordered companies to reclassify their drivers as employees within 10 days.

That decision was put on hold when the companies, under threat of leaving the state entirely, appealed the decision.

During Tuesday’s nearly two-hour hearing in the California 1st District Court of Appeals, lawyers for Uber and Lyft told the three-judge panel that the lower court ignored their evidence and s ‘was pronounced in favor of the state on the basis of flawed assumptions.

Lawyers have said the law will cause irreparable harm to the state and its residents, as companies are forced to overhaul their business models and remove thousands of part-time drivers from their platform.

A state and city attorney said damage has already been done to misclassified drivers and other law-abiding California businesses.

Reporting by Tina Bellon in New York; Edited by David Gregorio

Original © Thomson Reuters Corporation

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