If you are part of the gig economy in California, you are likely paying close attention to the ongoing dispute between the state and ridesharing companies over how their drivers are classified. Uber and Lyft have been categorizing their drivers as independent contractors for years in an attempt to save money and limit their liability. However, California is now suing to enforce a new law aimed at stopping that practice.
AB5 was passed to force changes
California recently passed a law called AB5. This legislation was intended to force companies to bring independent contractors onto their payrolls. In essence, the legislature was trying to codify a court decision that held that companies that had a certain level of control over their independent contractors had to bring them onto their payroll as employees. For Uber and Lyft drivers, the difference between being an independent contractor and an employee means having certain benefits and job protections. The companies also are able to escape liability for the drivers’ actions if they are independent contractors.
Uber and Lyft are allegedly not complying with AB5
Uber and Lyft have virtually gone to war with the state over the law. In addition to an expensive lobbying campaign to change the law, the companies are trying to engage in more sleights of hand to try to impact how their drivers are classified. Now, the state is trying to force the ridesharing companies to comply with the new law that was passed. If the state is successful, it could mean changes in the lives of scores of drivers.
If you are working as an independent contractor but feel that you have been misclassified, the company that is doing this may be held accountable. As you see, there are legal ramifications for violating AB5. Contact an employment law attorney if you feel that there is a possible lawsuit against the company that is denying you the benefits you deserve.