'Brazen' Uber and Lyft can't delay 'day of reckoning,' judge finds

A start. Image: Mario Tama / getty By Jack Morse2020-08-10 22:43:55 UTC Judge Ethan Schulman has had enough of Uber and Lyft's nonsense.  The California Superior Court judge issued a preliminary injunction Monday, in which he ordered the two ride-hail companies to classify their workers as employees instead of independent contractors. Notably, the injunction is stayed for 10 days — giving Uber and Lyft time to appeal. Even so, Schulman made it clear where he stands on the matter, citing Uber and Lyft's "prolonged and brazen refusal to comply with California law."  At issue is California's AB 5, a bill signed into law in September of 2019, which essentially seeks to force gig economy employers to treat their workers as employees. Such a change would make drivers eligible for things like healthcare and paid sick days — even more important during a pandemic.  Uber and Lyft decided to more or less sidestep key provisions of the law, and that brought us to today's ruling.  "Defendants are not entitled to an indefinite postponement of their day of reckoning," continued the judge, who was quick to point out just how nonsensical Uber's argument against classifying drivers as employees truly is.  "Uber's argument is a classic example of circular reasoning," he wrote, "because it regards itself as a technology company and considers only tech workers to be its 'employees,' anybody else is outside the ordinary course of its business, and therefore is not an employee."

'Brazen' Uber and Lyft can't delay 'day of reckoning,' judge finds
A start. Image: Mario Tama / getty By Jack Morse2020-08-10 22:43:55 UTC Judge Ethan Schulman has had enough of Uber and Lyft's nonsense.  The California Superior Court judge issued a preliminary injunction Monday, in which he ordered the two ride-hail companies to classify their workers as employees instead of independent contractors. Notably, the injunction is stayed for 10 days — giving Uber and Lyft time to appeal. Even so, Schulman made it clear where he stands on the matter, citing Uber and Lyft's "prolonged and brazen refusal to comply with California law."  At issue is California's AB 5, a bill signed into law in September of 2019, which essentially seeks to force gig economy employers to treat their workers as employees. Such a change would make drivers eligible for things like healthcare and paid sick days — even more important during a pandemic.  Uber and Lyft decided to more or less sidestep key provisions of the law, and that brought us to today's ruling.  "Defendants are not entitled to an indefinite postponement of their day of reckoning," continued the judge, who was quick to point out just how nonsensical Uber's argument against classifying drivers as employees truly is.  "Uber's argument is a classic example of circular reasoning," he wrote, "because it regards itself as a technology company and considers only tech workers to be its 'employees,' anybody else is outside the ordinary course of its business, and therefore is not an employee."