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Some Uber, Lyft drivers sue over California ballot measure

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Posted at 12:13 PM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-12 17:26:13-05

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Drivers for app-based ride-hailing and delivery services are suing to overturn a California ballot initiative that makes them independent contractors instead of employees eligible for benefits and job protections.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in the California Supreme Court said Proposition 22 is unconstitutional because it limits the power of the Legislature to grant workers the right to organize and excludes drivers from being eligible for workers’ compensation.

The measure passed in November was the most expensive in state history.

In a statement, California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, who led the passing of Assembly Bill 5 that required gig economy companies to hire freelances as employees eligible for employee benefits, said the state's Supreme Court should have the chance to rule on Prop 22.

"Prop. 22 not only created a permanent underclass of workers in California — it stripped the Legislature of its power to step in and improve working conditions for hundreds of thousands of app-based workers," Assemblywoman Gonzalez said. "The State Supreme Court should have an opportunity to weigh in on whether corporations can use the initiative process to write their own laws with artificial barriers designed to block elected representatives from doing their job."

Messages seeking comment from Uber and Lyft, the main supporters of the measure, were not immediately returned.