California – An appeals court allowed Uber and Lyft an emergency stay to resume services, granting them more time to appeal a ruling that they must classify drivers from independent contractors to full time employees. This is after Lyft announced that they would suspend operations in California. The company later retracted this announcement. Becoming a full time employee would mean drivers would be granted benefits such as sick leave and overtime pay.
Uber and Lyft have until August 25 to file written consents or else the emergency stay will expire. The service companies believe that drivers should remain contractors because it allows for a flexible schedule, and the process of making them full time employees would be a major overhaul of their systems.
When asked for comment, CJ Macklin, Senior Communications manager for Lyft, directed The Current Affairs Times to a statement made by spokesperson Julia Wood: “While we won’t have to suspend operations tonight, we do need to continue fighting for independence plus benefits for drivers. That’s the solution on the ballot in November, and it’s the solution drivers want because it preserves their ability to earn and to use the platform as they do now — whenever they want — while also getting historic new benefits. Without it, 80-90% of Californians who earn on app-based platforms will lose that opportunity.”
Driver advocacy groups criticized this news. “This is yet another attempt by these wealthy corporations to bully and intimidate drivers and voters into letting them write their own rules,” Lyft Driver and We Drive Progress advocacy group member Alan Franklin told ABC News.
With a Uber and Lyft backed ballot measure to keep drivers as contractors coming in November, will the public side with the companies or the advocacy groups? Will Lyft and Uber suspend services in California again when the emergency stay expires?
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