Will SF judge turn Uber, Lyft drivers into employees?
San Francisco Chronicle
A San Francisco Superior Court judge appeared reluctant to immediately reclassify Uber and Lyft drivers as employees at a hearing on Thursday, but also displayed skepticism to the companies’ arguments about why their drivers should remain independent contractors in the long term. Judge Ethan Schulman said he will rule in “days rather than weeks.” Even if he does reclassify drivers, he will consider Uber and Lyft’s request to stay that order. The case is an explosive one. California Attorney General Xavaier Becerra and the city attorneys of San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego sued the two San Francisco companies in May, alleging that their drivers were misclassified under AB5, California’s gig-work law, and deprived of the rights and benefits of being employees. At Thursday’s hearing, which was held via Zoom, the state and city attorneys were seeking an injunction to force immediate reclassification of the drivers even before the case goes to trial.