The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is slated to hear arguments from attorneys for Uber and Postmates that that the state law that determines who is an “employee” and who is an “independent contractor” is irrational, treats similarly-situated workers and professions unfairly, and is discriminatory toward some tech-based employers like Uber, while exempting errand-based apps that use similar driver-courier models.
As our Los Angeles employment lawyers can explain, the law being targeted is A.B. 5. It is the provision under which a worker is considered an employee unless the hiring entity can prove it was an independent contractor relationship through the ABC test – a three-factor analysis that examines the control over which the hiring entity had over the worker. The California employee classification rule impacts thousands of workers in the so-called “gig economy.” Although they enjoy flexibility, they lack certain employer-covered legal protections, such as unemployment benefits, overtime, paid meal breaks, and workers’ compensation.
It’s unlikely that the Ninth Circuit’s final ruling will be the last word. Whatever the ultimate decision is likely to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. That might be a smart gamble for the company’s especially, given the solidly conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court. The consensus by many California employment law attorneys is that deep-pocketed companies are essentially playing the long-game of establishing a virtual monopoly on taxiing services. Doing so gives them greater power to lobby for laws (including employment laws) that bend to their favor.
That’s why this case is one that states beyond California’s borders are watching closely. Its history is one that extends back a few years. Continue Reading ›