Uber and Lyft’s ride-hailing businesses are fighting to keep operating in California, but restaurant delivery and other services on the apps will continue for now.
The recent preliminary injunction ordered the companies to reverse their misclassification of drivers as independent contractors instead of employees under AB5’s employee law. In response, both threatened to shut down in California after the 10-day deadline. But that doesn’t mean your Uber Eats lunch order is gone.
Uber and Lyft said that, if forced to go from a gig worker “independent” model to a full-time employee setup by Aug. 20, both would cease operations until at least November. The companies are supporting a state proposition on the fall ballot that would keep its drivers as gig workers. But the shutdown threat means separate services like Uber Eats will keep operating as before.
An Uber spokesperson confirmed that the state’s Superior Court-imposed Aug. 20 deadline to turn workers into employees only affects its ride-sharing business. For Lyft, its bike-share and e-scooter rentals would still be available. Lyft car rentals would also stay on the app.
The lawsuit filed back in May by the state attorney general, along with San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco district attorneys, focuses specifically on livery drivers. A press release explains, “Uber’s and Lyft’s misclassification of drivers deprives workers of critical workplace protections such as the right to minimum wage and overtime, and access to paid sick leave, disability insurance, and unemployment insurance.”
But the same legal pressure could eventually spill into food and other delivery services. A separate lawsuit from the San Francisco District Attorney against restaurant delivery app DoorDash may soon put an end to independent contractors dropping off food and grocery orders.