Briefing

Uber, Postmates sue to block California gig-worker law

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The food-delivery competitors filed a joint lawsuit with two app-based drivers in Los Angeles federal court Monday, challenging legislation that could force the companies to treat their drivers as employees. Their suit argues the law is a “thinly veiled attempt” to compromise the flexibility provided by the gig economy. (Reuters)

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Talking point: This is the first suit any of the big gig-economy companies have filed against the legislation, which was signed in September and is set to take effect Wednesday. It follows two similar legal challenges, setting up an intense battle in the new year. The lawsuit cites a study that found the legislation would increase Lyft’s operating costs by 20 per cent and remove 300,000 drivers from California’s roads. Postmates said in a statement that instead of the bill, the state should engage in serious talks “to modernize a robust safety net designed specifically for the needs of on-demand workers”—a framework it said is “not currently contemplated under state and federal law.”