On June 28, 2023 the California Supreme Court granted SEIU’s request to decide the constitutionality of Proposition 22 — the 2020 ballot measure exempting companies like Uber, Lyft and Doordash from treating drivers as employees. Olson Remcho and co-counsel filed the appeal on behalf of SEIU and other plaintiffs after an appeals court ruled in March that Proposition 22 could stand as state law, reversing a 2021 Alameda Superior Court decision that declared Prop 22 unconstitutional. The California Supreme Court could rule on the case early next year.
In the lower court’s ruling in favor of California app-based drivers, rideshare consumers and labor unions in August 2021, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch ruled that Proposition 22, which exempted companies like Uber, Lyft and Doordash from treating drivers as employees, was unconstitutional. According to Judge Roesch’s ruling, Proposition 22 unconstitutionally “limits the power of a future legislature to define app-based drivers as workers subject to workers’ compensation law.” He concludes his order by stating “A prohibition on legislation authorizing collective bargaining by app-based drivers does not promote the right to work as an independent contractor, nor does it protect work flexibility, nor does it provide minimum workplace safety and pay standards for those workers. It appears only to protect the economic interests of the network companies in having a divided, unionized workforce, which is not a stated goal of the legislation.”