Uber joins lawsuits to exempt itself from California law


California law effective from today, i.e. Jan 1 is all set to give equal protection to independent contractors.

Uber, the ride-sharing company and Postmates, on-demand meal delivery service, filed a lawsuit on 30 December in U.S. Court Los Angeles, to block the California law that was supposed to give protection and wage to the independent contractors. 

The lawsuit argued that the new California law violates the federal and state constitutional obligations of equal protection benefits and due process. Moreover, Uber said that it will try to link this lawsuit to the other challenge filed by the association (representing photographers and freelance writers) in mid-December.

In November 2019, the first challenge to the law was filed by California Trucking Association on behalf of independent truckers.

This new law is coming up with the nation’s strict rules according to which the independent workers must be considered as employees and this can set an example for other states. Lydia Olson, the ride-share drive wrote about his concerns in a Facebook post cited by Uber

“This has thrown my life and the lives of more than a hundred thousand drivers into uncertainty,” 

Lorena Gonzalez – democratic assemblywoman of San Diego raised her concern that more than one million California workers lack primary benefits including minimum wage, paid sick leaves, medical expense coverage, mileage reimbursements, etc. and therefore, the employee rights must be extended.

When the lawmakers were trying to craft the law, uber has tried to exempt itself from the obliged entities claiming it would defend its labor model from legal challenges. Moreover, uber joined DoorDash and Lyft in a vow to spend $30 million each to upturn the law if they don’t win the case in 2020.

Gonzalez said in one of her statement

“The one clear thing we know about Uber is they will do anything to try to exempt themselves from state regulations that make us all safer and their driver employees self-sufficient. In the meantime, Uber chief executives will continue to become billionaires while too many of their drivers are forced to sleep in their cars.”

The lawsuit by Uber contends that the law exempts some industries and it meddles the worker’s right to choose how they make living hence, they can void their existing contracts.