Uber and Lyft get reprieve from court, won’t shut down in California for now
While the legal decision on Thursday buys the companies more time, they still do have a deadline hanging over their heads to reclassify their drivers as employees rather than independent contractors.
“We are glad that the Court of Appeals recognized the important questions raised in this case, and that access to these critical services won’t be cut off while we continue to advocate for drivers’ ability to work with the freedom they want,” said Uber spokesperson Noah Edwardsen in a statement.
With hours to go before the original deadline, the companies were bracing for a shutdown. Lyft said earlier Thursday it would suspend service in the state by end of day if an appeals court doesn’t grant its request for a delay. Uber said earlier this week it would also suspend service by midnight Thursday if not granted a similar delay on the order.
As part of an ongoing lawsuit, a California court last Monday ordered the companies to reclassify their drivers in the state as employees rather than independent contractors in 10 days, or by this Friday.
In response to that court order, both companies warned that they might suspend operations in California. Each coupled those warnings with a push for a referendum in November to exempt them from the law, known as AB-5, if they could not successfully appeal for a longer stay on the order.