Prop 22 legal challenge thrown out by California Supreme Court

The California Supreme Court docket threw out a constitutional challenge to Proposition 22, clearing the path for the voter-approved legislation letting gig providers to preserve treating their employees as independent contractors.

The lawsuit that the condition Supreme Court declined to listen to was filed very last thirty day period by a smaller team of application-centered motorists and the Assistance Workforce Worldwide Union, a single of the nation’s major labor unions. It alleges Proposition 22 boundaries the ability of elected officers to govern, in violation of the California Structure, by taking away their potential to grant staff the suitable to arrange and give accessibility to the state workers’ compensation method.

The court’s selection Wednesday not to hear the circumstance strengthens the situation of gig financial state businesses, which includes Uber, Lyft and DoorDash, which used hundreds of thousands and thousands of bucks bankrolling the evaluate on the November ballot.

Protections for gig workers in California have been at the center of a political battle between labor advocates and gig financial state firms that refused to comply with condition labor law requiring them to classify their employees as workers — prior to the businesses secured an exemption beneath Proposition 22. The desire for grocery and other food-delivery expert services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has place a fresh new highlight on drivers’ doing the job ailments.

The point out Supreme Courtroom denied the plaintiffs’ ask for to hear the case “without prejudice,” which means the SEIU could nonetheless look for to challenge Proposition 22 by refiling the circumstance in a lower court. That would in all probability switch into a significantly for a longer period course of action. Lawyers symbolizing the union and drivers explained they hoped to expedite the case by having it directly to the condition Supreme Court docket.

The handful of motorists who brought forth the problem said the Supreme Court’s determination was disappointing. “We will think about each and every alternative readily available to defend California personnel from tries by companies like Uber and Lyft to subvert our democracy and assault our legal rights in get to improve their bottom lines,” Hector Castellanos, one of the drivers who introduced the lawsuit, reported in a statement. Castellanos has pushed for Uber and Lyft for about 5 several years.

SEIU declined to remark on whether or not it would pursue the legal challenge further.

Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart — the important corporations that funded Proposition 22 — did not quickly reply to a request for comment. In response to a ask for for comment, Kathy Fairbanks, a representative of a coalition known as Secure Application-Centered Drivers & Services, which led the primary professional-Proposition 22 marketing campaign last 12 months, cited a statement by Jim Pyatt, an Uber driver residing in Modesto.

“We’re thankful, but not stunned, that the California Supreme Court docket has turned down this meritless lawsuit. We’re hopeful this will send out a strong sign to specific interests to halt striving to undermine the will of voters who overwhelmingly stood with motorists to pass Proposition 22,” Pyatt mentioned in the statement.

Proposition 22 cruised to a victory in November with 58% of the vote.

Metropolis attorneys for San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego had urged the condition Supreme Courtroom to hear the situation, filing an amicus short in guidance of the lawsuit in January arguing that Proposition 22 would deprive hundreds of countless numbers of workers of a “wide range” of protections and benefits.

The attorneys stated figuring out the constitutionality of Proposition 22 would be important for a range of ongoing scenarios introduced by public prosecutors alleging Uber, Lyft and other gig providers misclassified hundreds of countless numbers of drivers as unbiased contractors.

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