The California Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear the appeal of a state appeals court decision that let most of a state law on gig-worker classification stand.
The March ruling upholding Proposition 22, a law that was passed by 58% of California voters in 2020, was a victory for Uber Technologies Inc.
Instacart and other gig companies that want to continue to treat their drivers and delivery workers as independent contractors.
Proposition 22 was put on the ballot by those gig companies in response to another law that came out of a 2018 California Supreme Court ruling called Dynamex. That law, Assembly Bill 5, codified a new standard for worker classification in the state that would have likely required gig companies to treat app-based workers as employees and threatened their business model. Prop. 22 allowed gig companies to bypass AB 5.
Hector Castellanos, the first gig-worker plaintiff listed in the lawsuit seeking to throw out Prop. 22, said in a statement Wednesday that he was grateful that the state’s highest court agreed to review the case.
“More than two years after the passage of Prop. 22, gig workers like me across California are still demanding basic rights like paid sick leave, meaningful health benefits and overtime pay,” he said in the statement issued through SEIU California, which appealed the appeals court decision. “We’re sick of Prop. 22, and we remain committed in our fight to beat it,” he added.
Through the industry-backed Protect App Based Drivers & Services coalition, a ride-hailing driver named Claudia B. issued the following statement: “We remain confident that the court will uphold Prop. 22 to protect the people’s right of initiative and the overwhelming will of California voters.”
Kristin Sharp, chief executive of Flex, a trade association representing the gig companies, echoed that sentiment, though she said in a statement that she was “disappointed” that the California Supreme Court had agreed to hear the appeal.