Uber, Lyft win court reprieve in California law battle

An appeals court ruled to allow Uber and Lyft to continue treating their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees.

Cathy Bussewitz and Michael Liedtke reported for the AP:

An appeals court has allowed ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft to continue treating their drivers as independent contractors in California in a decision that will give the two companies a few more months to protect their business models in a key market.

The stay pauses a lower-court ruling that was scheduled to take effect at midnight on Friday and would have forced Uber and Lyft to treat all their drivers as employees. The companies said that such a change in status would be impossible to accomplish overnight and would have saddled them with a financial burden difficult for them to shoulder while they are still struggling to turn a profit.

Reuters’ Tina Bellon and Norma Geleana wrote:

The companies had threatened an imminent shutdown as early as midnight across California. They said they would be unable to comply with the state’s new law, which considers their drivers employees and not contractors, entitled to benefits such as minimum wage, overtime, sick pay and unemployment insurance.

Sara Ashley O’Brien noted for CNN:

Thursday’s order lays out new deadlines for the companies. By September 4, 2020, the CEOs of Uber and Lyft must submit sworn statements with “implementation plans” for complying with the law within 30 days if the court upholds the earlier injunction order and if the ballot initiative does not pass. Oral arguments are scheduled for October 13, 2020.