Uber and Postmates file lawsuit to block new California workers' rights law

Updated: Jan 2

Global ride-hailing firm Uber have teamed up with courier delivery service provider Postmates, to ask a Californian court to block a new workers' rights state law, which is due to begin on Wednesday.

Both Uber and Postmates are arguing the new AB5 bill violates the US Constitution. The new bill will see contractors reclassified as employees, which would open up the possibility of higher minimum pay and also benefits that include medical insurance.

The 49-page lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles federal court on Monday, and the office of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced it was reviewing the complaint filed.

Those supporting the bill, which could affect 450,000 gig-economy workers in the state of California, suggests the the new law provides extra protection to workers.

In the lawsuit filed it suggests the law “irreparably harms network companies and app-based independent service providers by denying their constitutional rights to be treated the same as others to whom they are similarly situated”.

Some industries have been made exempt from the new bill which includes truck drivers and commercial fishermen.

Ron Herrera, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 396 and Teamsters International Vice President, said: "This recent lawsuit filed by major corporate interests seeking to invalidate AB-5 is the most recent demonstration on the war that is currently being waged against working people in our country.

"The Teamsters supported the passage of AB-5 in order to protect workers in the State of California from misclassification and wage theft. Greedy corporations are filing this lawsuit to increase their profits regardless of the impact it has on people's livelihoods.

"Teamsters Local 396 and the broader American Labor Movement must use all of the resources at our disposal to ensure that AB-5 is protected and that workers have a voice at the table. When working people come together, there is nothing that can stop us."

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