Last Friday, August 20, Judge Frank Roesch of the Alameda Superior Court ruled Prop 22 unconstitutional, holding that the 2020 ballot measure violated California’s Constitution by limiting the Legislature’s authority to determine which workers will qualify for worker’s compensation. The judge wrote, “[Prop 22] is unconstitutional because it limits the power of a future legislature to define app-based drivers as workers subject to workers’ compensation law… The entirety of Proposition 22 is unenforceable.” The court also found that Prop 22 is “constitutionally problematic” because it requires a seven-eights majority of the Legislature to amend its terms, an unconstitutional restriction on the Legislature’s right to amend through a supermajority.
Prop 22 was passed last year and allows gig worker companies such as Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash to continue classifying their workers as independent contractors rather than employees, thereby denying them the full wages and benefits afforded to employees in California. Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash, which spent more than $200 million to pass the ballot measure, said they would appeal the ruling. The law remains in effect for now, but Friday’s ruling is a major setback for the companies, which have spent years fighting against California’s strong worker protections. They are currently introducing similar legislation in Massachusetts to reduce gig worker protections in that state.
The defendants have vowed to appeal, and it is likely that the fate of Prop 22 will ultimately be decided by the California Supreme Court.
If you believe you have been misclassified as an independent contractor, contact Teukolsky Law today for a free consultation.
Lauren Teukolsky is the founder and owner of Teukolsky Law, A Professional Corporation.