On June 24, a coalition consisting of the California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco City attorneys announced plans to file an injunction asking Uber and Lyft to immediately cease the misclassification of their drivers as independent contractors.
The injunction follows the coalition lawsuit against Uber and Lyft, which claims "that Uber and Lyft's misclassification of drivers provides workers with critical workplace protection such as the right to minimum wages and overtime, as well as access to paid sick leave, disability insurance and unemployment withheld insurance, ”said a press release issued by the Attorney General on June 24.
With this brave move in their lawsuit against the two largest hail shipping companies, the attorney general and city lawyers argue that immediate action must be taken and that corporate misclassification damages the public by depriving the state of tax revenue and depriving its drivers of employment protection .
"Misclassifying your employees as" consultants "or" independent contractors "simply means that you want your employees or taxpayers to cover the costs of obligations that you have as an employer, regardless of whether you pay statutory wages or overtime, Take sick leave or take out unemployment insurance. You can't do business like this in California, ”said Attorney General Becerra.
"Now drivers need these benefits more than ever," said Dennis Herrera, lawyer for the city of San Francisco. "Despite a misinformation campaign, nothing prevents Uber and Lyft from correctly classifying drivers and giving them flexibility."
The application is the Attorney General's latest move to enforce AB 5, California's employee misclassification law. Uber and Lyft have spoken against the law since it was passed in September 2019, claiming that their business would be affected.
In a press release, an Uber spokesman argued that the company's drivers value their independence. "When more than 3 million Californians are unemployed, our elected leaders should focus on creating jobs, not trying to close an entire industry," the statement said.
According to Lyft's statement, the company believes that “the courts should let the voters decide. Trying to force drivers to give up their independence 100 days before the election threatens to make one million people unemployed at the worst possible time. "
In the November elections, Uber and Lyft funded an election campaign that would override AB 5 to classify hailers as independent contractors and to adopt labor and wage guidelines, health care subsidies, and occupational accident insurance for hailers.