A superior court in California’s Alameda County struck down Prop 22, ruling that it’s unconstitutional. Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch said part of Prop 22 is aimed at preventing future amendments by requiring a 7/8ths majority in the legislature per Politico:
Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch found that the ballot initiative’s 7/8ths threshold requirement for the California legislature to amend the law was unconstitutional because it “limits the power of a future legislature to define app-based drivers as workers subject to workers’ compensation law.” And because that section is “not severable from the rest of the statute” Roesch said all of Prop 22 was unenforceable.
This is good for a couple of reasons. The first is that it’s a victory in the fight to get Uber and Lyft workers legally classified as actual employees. The second is that it throws cold water on these tech companies trying to pass similar rules elsewhere, by providing some precedent against it.
The Alameda Superior Court ruled the following two bits unconstitutional:
- Article 2, Section 7451: “because it limits the power of a future legislature to define app-based drivers as workers subject to workers compensation law.”
- Article 9, Section 7465, subdivision (c)(4): “because it defines unrelated legislation as an ‘amendment’ and is not germane to Proposition 22's stated theme, purpose, or subject.”
I think it’s important to make a note of just what the exact “theme, purpose, or subject” is. This is Prop 22's official statement of purpose, emphasis mine:
7450. Statement of Purpose. The purposes of this chapter are as follows:
(a) To protect the basic legal right of Californians to choose to work as independent contractors with rideshare and delivery network companies throughout the state.
(b) To protect the individual right of every app-based rideshare and delivery driver to have the flexibility to set their own hours for when, where, and how they work.
We can expect that supporters of Prop 22 will appeal and protest the ruling.