California judge overturns Prop 22

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

An Alameda County Superior Court judge on Friday overturned California’s Proposition 22, the ballot initiative that allows companies to treat rideshare and delivery drivers as independent contractors.

Judge Frank Roesch ruled Prop 22 is both unconstitutional and unenforceable. Roesch found the initiative “unconstitutional because it limits the power of a future legislature to define app-based drivers as workers subject to workers’ compensation law.” 

Likewise, Roesch ruled another provision of the initiative unconstitutional. That provision requires a seven-eights vote in the state Legislature in order to amend the law.

Prop 22 passed in Nov. 2020 by a vote of approximately 59 percent to 41 percent. The initiative was pushed by gig economy companies, including Uber, Lyft and DoorDash, in response to California’s AB 5, a law requiring businesses to treat numerous workers as employees, not independent contractors.

After voters approved the initiative, individual drivers and the Service Employees International Union filed a lawsuit. Uber and Lyft now plan to appeal Roesch’s ruling in the case.

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