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Drivers gather in support of AB 5 legislation that could make them employees outside Uber HQ in San Francisco Photo: Jana Asenbrennerova

AB5 Bites Uber And Lyft, As California Sues For Misclassifying Drivers

Uber and Lyfts’s long-running battle in California over drivers misclassification doesn’t seem to be going away soon. California’s attorney general and a group of city attorneys sued both Uber and Lyft for violating the AB5 legislation.

 

The suit alleges that the companies are not properly classifying their drivers. They classify them as independent contractors in a violation of recently passed AB5 law that sees them as employees.

 

AB5 came into effect on 1st January 2020. It implements an “ABC” test to determine if workers should be classified as employees or independent contractors.

 

The provisions in the ABC test for classifying workers state that workers can only be called independent contractors if;

 

— The hiring entity does not control the worker in performing the work in fact or as in a contract.

— Work performed is outside the “usual course” of the hiring entity’s business.

— The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed.

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“Californians who drive for Uber and Lyft lack basic worker protections. Sometimes it takes a pandemic to shake us into realizing what that really means and who suffers the consequences,” California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

 

Uber and Lfyts long-running battle with the California AB5 legislation doesn’t seem like it will be ending soon.

 

Uber had, since the law came into effect, been trying to lobby their way. The ride-hailing company has also made a host of changes to its app to better comply with the legislation.

 

Its efforts included giving drivers more control over their rides and making fares more transparent. However, so far, the state of California has deemed them not to be enough.

 

Uber said in a statement, that it plans to take action:

 

“[We would] contest this action in court, while at the same time pushing to raise the standard of independent work for drivers in California, including with guaranteed minimum earnings and new benefits.”

 

However, Lyft revealed that it was looking forward to working with the state. Its release reads in part:

 

“[We are] looking forward to working with the Attorney General and mayors across the state to bring all the benefits of California’s innovation economy to as many workers as possible, especially during this time when the creation of good jobs with access to affordable healthcare and other benefits is more important than ever.

 

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Kolawole Awolope

Passionate about talking, passionate about talking tech.

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