California Proposition 22 was passed by voters last year by more than 17 points. The App-Based Drivers as Contractors and Labor Policies Initiative was championed by Uber, DoorDash, and other apps that use drivers, leading Prop 22 to become the most expensive ballot measure in the history of California; more than $204 million was spent to focus on the issue. Prop 22 was considered a backlash to Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), which classified many gig workers as employees, not independent contractors. The change in classification would have provided certain worker rights, including minimum wages, overtime pay, and workers’ compensation benefits. AB5 never took effect.
Last Friday, a California judge found Prop 22 unconstitutional. The Alameda County Superior Court Judge determined that Prop 22 is unenforceable due to several provisions of the proposition being in violation of California law. Specifically, the judge stated that the ballot measure was not limited to a single subject, created an amendment process that violated the California constitution, and does not provide worker protections consistent with existing employment law.
Uber and some pro-Prop 22 advocates have declared an intent to appeal the ruling. It is expected that the provisions of Prop 22 will remain in effect while the appeal process takes place and that the California Supreme Court will ultimately have the final say in determining the fate of the proposition. After the original passage of Prop 22, Uber and Lyft were planning to bring similar measures in other states. The ride sharing companies have also had to defend charges that the confusing wording of the ballot misled voters.
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Under employment law, employee misclassification as independent contractors is a major issue. This can occur in a variety of professions. Depending on the posture of the case and the type of profession involved, an employee may be entitled to some rights and benefits that independent contractors are not. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth helps workers who are improperly labeled as independent contractors seek proper classification and the recovery of benefits owed to them. We provide free consultations at 888-517-9888.