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Uber And Lyft Drivers Are Employees, Owed Back Pay, According to CA Lawsuit




Uber and Lyft drivers with Rideshare Drivers United and the
 Transport Workers Union of America conduct a ‘caravan protest’ outside the California Labor Commissioner’s office amidst the coronavirus pandemic on April 16, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
Uber and Lyft drivers with Rideshare Drivers United and the
 Transport Workers Union of America conduct a ‘caravan protest’ outside the California Labor Commissioner’s office amidst the coronavirus pandemic on April 16, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

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California sued ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft on Tuesday, alleging they misclassified their drivers as independent contractors under the state’s new labor law.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the city attorneys of Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco announced the lawsuit Tuesday. The labor law, known as AB5 and considered the nation’s strictest test, took effect Jan. 1 and makes it harder for companies to classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees who are entitled to minimum wage and benefits such as workers compensation.

California represents Uber and Lyft’s largest source of revenue. The companies, as well as Doordash, are funding a ballot initiative campaign to exclude their drivers from the law while giving new benefits such as health care coverage. The initiative is likely to qualify for the November ballot.

We dive into the suit and California’s saga with ride hailing companies. Plus, if you’re a driver, what do you think of Becerra’s claim? Would you prefer to be treated as an employee? And if you’ve been driving for a while, has the pandemic changed your outlook on Uber and Lyft’s treatment of its drivers? Call us at 866-893-5722. 

With files from the Associated Press.

Guests:

Josh Eidelson, labor reporter for Bloomberg News; based in the Bay Area; tweets @josheidelson

Mike Feuer, City Attorney of Los Angeles