Uber and Lyft drivers across the state of California are preparing for a potential shut down amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The controversy comes in the wake of a lawsuit over the companies’ classification of drivers as “independent contractors” rather than “employees”.
As a result, Uber and Lyft have threatened to halt their services in California until the lawsuit is resolved.
On Thursday, August 20, 2020, a California court ruled that the two companies were not required to immediately reclassify drivers as employees instead of independent contractors.
The lawsuit began in May 2020 when California attorney general Xavier Beccera filed a lawsuit about the worker status of Lyft and Uber drivers. The move from independent contractors to employees would improve minimum wages and benefits for drivers in the midst of a global pandemic.
The threats to shut down services increased on August 10, when the companies were ordered to abide by California’s Assembly Bill 5 law (AB5), which extends employee status to “gig workers.”
You can find more information on the lawsuit here.