Earlier this year, the California Supreme Court issued a ruling with far-reaching impact to so-called “gig” employers, like Uber and Lyft. These and others with similar employment structures had argued that their drivers were NOT employees, but rather independent contractors. This ruling was a blow to these companies because when workers are classified as employees, they are entitled to receive benefits like minimum wage, regular breaks, overtime pay, protection from sexual harassment and workers’ compensation for injuries. Of course, all this cost the companies money, something they’d been desperately hoping to avoid.
Now, according to Bloomberg, these companies are quietly lobbying Democrats in California, seeking a legislative means of overriding the state supreme court’s ruling in April. They’ve been pleading their case to members of the current governor’s cabinet, as well as with his presumed successor and members of the state legislature. They are hoping to either dull the impact of the court’s ruling (with executive action or through passage of a new law) or else scrap it entirely.
Our employee misclassification attorneys in Orange County recognize that such a move could have serious legal implications not only here in California, but potentially echoing throughout the country, as this is an issue with which many states are grappling. The whole idea of the “gig economy,” which thrives on newer technology such as smartphone apps and constant internet connectivity, is one in which the laws are only now catching up and adapting to these newer features. Continue reading