Uber and Lyft to Resume Classifying Drivers as Contractors

A California appeals court overturned the challenge to Proposition 22.

A California appeals court overturned the challenge to Proposition 22.

Back in 2020, California voters passed Proposition 22, which allowed rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft to begin classifying their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. Many drivers objected to this, as the proposition effectively absolved the companies of any responsibility to provide benefits to them, which was especially problematic at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, a judge challenged Prop 22, pausing it, but this week, that pause came to an end.

With a ruling from a California appeals court, the challenge to Prop 22 has been overturned, allowing rideshare companies to once again classify their drivers as contractors.

“Today’s ruling is a victory for app-based workers and the millions of Californians who voted for Prop 22. Across the state, drivers and couriers have said they are happy with Prop 22, which affords them new benefits while preserving the unique flexibility of app-based work,” Uber chief legal officer Tony West said in a statement.

One bright side for the drivers is that, according to the appeal court’s rulings, rideshare companies cannot prevent the drivers from forming their own labor unions. “Our right to join together and bargain collectively creates a clear path for drivers and delivery workers to hold giant gig corporations accountable,” said Mike Robinson, one of the drivers who filed the original lawsuit against Prop 22. “But make no mistake, we still believe Prop 22 — in its entirety — is an unconstitutional attack on our basic rights.”

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