SACRAMENTO, California (AP) – The California Trucking Association filed Tuesday what appears to be the first lawsuit challenging a sweeping new employment law seeking to provide wage and benefit protection to workers in the so-called gambling job, including rideshare drivers at companies like Uber and Lyft.
The legislation violates federal law and would deprive more than 70,000 independent trucks of their ability to work, the association said. Many will have to leave $ 1[ads1]50,000 in clean trucks and the right to set their own schedules for companies to comply with a law that says it illegally violates interstate commerce.
"Independent trucks are usually experienced drivers who have previously worked as employees and have, by choice, struck out on their own. We should not deprive them of the choice," said Associate Director Shawn Yadon in a statement.
The law enacted on January 1 makes it more difficult for companies to classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees, who are entitled to minimum wages and benefits as workers' compensation.
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"We expect large corporate interests – especially those who have misclassified their workers for years – to take this fight back to the place they know they can defer justice to workers: the courts, "the bill's author, Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego, said in a statement.
Her office said it is apparently the first such lawsuit, although Uber, Lyft and DoorDash have said they will spend $ 90 million on a 2020 ballot that opposes the law if they cannot negotiate other rules for drivers their. Uber also said it will continue to treat its drivers as independent contractors and defend that decision in court if necessary.
The law can also affect construction workers, caretakers and home health aides. But the law's effect on ridesharing and meal drivers has received the most attention because these companies pay their drivers in turn and do not provide benefits such as health insurance and paid leave.
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The law implements a California Supreme Court ruling last year regarding workers at the delivery company Dynamex.
The court set a new, three-pronged test for companies to use when deciding how to classify their workers. To be labeled as a contractor, a worker must be free of control of the company; to carry out work "outside the ordinary course of the employer's business"; and engaged in an independently established trade, profession or business of the same kind as the work they carry out.
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The lawsuit was brought in federal court in San Diego on the same day the University of California, Berkeley, Labor Center said, the law would apply to nearly two-thirds of independent contractors, including truck and taxi drivers, caretakers and maids, retailers, ground workers and child care workers.
Categories that are exempt under the law make up an additional 9%, mainly high-wage jobs including doctors and dentists, lawyers, accountants and real estate agents.
About a quarter of the workers will be covered unless certain strict criteria apply, the center projected. They include construction workers, hairdressers and barbers, designers and other artists and sales representatives.