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Gig-Economy Firms Lobby California Dems to Void Court Ruling

August 17, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

SACRAMENTO, CA.—Several leading gig-economy companies, including Uber and Lyft, are lobbying California’s top Democrats to take action that would blunt a court ruling that makes it much harder for them to claim their workers are “independent contractors” and not employees. The California Supreme Court’s April ruling in Dynamex Operations West Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles held that workers should be considered employees unless their work “is outside the usual course” of the company’s business. The ruling is “stifling innovation and threatening the livelihoods of millions of working Californians,” says a July 23 letter sent to Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration by nine companies, including Uber, Lyft, Postmates, and TaskRabbit. The companies and the California Chamber of Commerce have been lobbying Brown, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, and Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins for either legislation or an executive order to let them keep claiming workers as independent contractors. “It would be crazy for the California governor or legislature to abandon protections for workers in order to help multibillion-dollar companies build an economy that completely excludes protections for workers’ rights,” said attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, who represents workers suing several gig-economy companies. Read more

August 17, 2018

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