Uber & Lyft MUST classify their drivers as employees says California Judge in landmark case

Updated: Aug 11, 2020

Image credit:Piqsels

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra — alongside the City Attorneys of Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco — yesterday (Monday 10 August) secured a preliminary injunction against unlawful employee misclassification by Uber and Lyft, requiring the companies to rightfully classify their drivers as employees while litigation is ongoing.

Per the court order, the preliminary injunction is stayed for a period of 10 days.

In addition, the court denied Uber’s and Lyft’s attempts to dismiss the case and stay proceedings.

The decision comes after the Attorney General and City Attorneys filed for a preliminary injunction alleging that Uber’s and Lyft’s misclassification of drivers causes immediate and irreparable harm to the state and deprives workers of critical workplace protections.

Speaking of the stateside decision, UK Labour MP for Ilford North, Shadow Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Wes Streeting, said via his official Twitter account: "Companies like Uber rely on a combination of worker exploitation and tax avoidance.

"Workers shouldn't have to rely on the courts to safeguard basic rights.

"Calling it the 'gig economy' gives it a veneer of respectability it doesn't deserve.

"It's not an economy, it's a racket."

Attorney General Becerra, said: “The court has weighed in and agreed: Uber and Lyft need to put a stop to unlawful misclassification of their drivers while our litigation continues."

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Fryer, added: “While this fight still has a long way to go, we’re pushing ahead to make sure the people of California get the workplace protections they deserve.

"Our state and workers shouldn’t have to foot the bill when big businesses try to skip out on their responsibilities. We’re going to keep working to make sure Uber and Lyft play by the rules.

"Of course, our fight is not over and we will vigorously pursue this litigation until these workers have the permanent protection they deserve."

San Francisco City Attorney, Dennis Herrera, concluded: "Misclassification hurts drivers and it puts the burden on taxpayers to pay for benefits that Uber and Lyft should be providing.

“These companies have pocketed millions of dollars by leaving taxpayers to foot the bill.

"That’s unacceptable. During this global pandemic, it’s even more important for drivers to get access to protections like unemployment insurance. There is no rule that prevents these drivers from continuing to have all of the flexibility they currently enjoy. Being properly classified as an employee doesn't change that.”

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