August saw dramatic developments in the ongoing Dynamex/AB5/gig economy saga: following the August 13 ruling that confirmed an August 20 deadline for Uber and Lyft to reclassify their workers as employees, the two companies announced that they planned to cease operations in California rather than comply. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo issued statements calling on the Court of Appeals to stay the ruling, claiming that their constituents would suffer if the services were stopped during the pandemic.
On the other side of the issue, drivers and labor organizers claimed that the companies were acting in bad faith, noting that Lyft and Uber have had more than adequate time to comply, given that the recent court decisions echo the findings of the Dynamex ruling, which was issued more than two years ago. Add into this mix a pending ballot proposition, Prop. 22, which would upend AB5 if passed in November. Last Thursday, August 20, the 1st District Court of Appeal issued a stay on the order, temporarily allowing the companies to continue operating under their current business model, which classifies drivers as independent contractors.
John Howard and Tim Foster of the Capitol Weekly Podcast reached out to Steve Smith of the California Labor Federation, one of the leading opponents of Proposition 22, to chat about this wild week and the issues behind AB5 and Proposition 22.