Business · California

Appeals court ruling staves off Calif. shutdown of Lyft, Uber

On the heels of announcing they would suspend service within the State of California due to court rulings over classifying their drivers as employees, rideshare giants Uber and Lyft won a reprieve from a California appeals court on Thursday.

Last week, a San Francisco Superior Court judge granted a preliminary injunction requiring the firms to classify their drivers as employees rather than independent contractors.

While issuing the injunction, the same judge stayed his ruling through Friday to allow Uber and Lyft to file the appeal which granted on Thursday.

Following the Superior Court ruling, Lyft announced it would suspend service effective 11:59 p.m. Thursday.

Thursday afternoon, the San Francisco-based First District Court of Appeal ruled that the two companies can continue classifying their drivers as independent contractors while they litigate the case.

Under the requirements of Assembly Bill 5 and the Superior Court injunction, roughly 80 percent of Lyft drivers would be out of work, with some being rehired as employees, the company said.

The two rideshare companies along with DoorDash dropped $90 million to support Proposition 22 along with an additional $20 million from InstaCart and Postmates.

The initiative, set to be voted on in November, would exempt app-based ridesharing and food delivery services from classifying drivers as employees.

Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at