LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Proposition 22, which classifies app-based drivers as independent contractors with their own labor and wage policies, was ruled unconstitutional on Friday by a California judge.
California Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch’s ruling comes nearly 10 months following a multi-million dollar ad blitz by companies like Uber pushing for voters to approve the ballot measure, and six months after California rideshare drivers and unions advanced their push to show Prop. 22 violates the state constitution. The measure was approved by 58% of votes in November.
The proposition would establish drivers as independent contractors rather than employees which worker advocates argue limits those workers’ access to appropriate benefits such as access to the minimum wage, employer-provided health care and union bargaining rights.
Bob Schoonover, President of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California State Council, issued the following statement in response to the ruling:
“Today’s ruling by Judge Roesch striking down Proposition 22 couldn’t be clearer: The gig industry-funded ballot initiative was unconstitutional and is therefore unenforceable. Companies like Uber and Lyft spent $225 million in an effort to take away rights from workers in a way that violates California’s Constitution. They tried to boost their profits by undermining democracy and the state constitution. For two years, drivers have been saying that democracy cannot be bought. And today’s decision shows they were right.”
Uber also said the following in a statement, saying it will appeal the decision.
“This ruling ignores the will of the overwhelming majority of California voters and defies both logic and the law. You don’t have to take our word for it: California’s Attorney General strongly defended Prop 22’s constitutionality in this very case. We will appeal and we expect to win. Meanwhile, Prop. 22 remains in effect, including all of the protections and benefits it provides independent workers across the state.”