Scott Kronland, a lawyer for the drivers, praised Roesch’s decision. “Our position is that he’s exactly right and that his ruling is going to be upheld on appeal,” Kronland said.
But the gig economy companies argued that the judge had erred by “ignoring a century’s worth of case law requiring the courts to guard the voters’ right of initiative,” said Geoff Vetter, a spokesperson for the Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Coalition, a group that represents gig platforms.
The decision is not likely to immediately affect the new law and is certain to face appeals from Uber and other so-called gig economy companies.
An Uber spokesperson said the ruling ignored the majority of California voters who supported the law. “We will appeal, and we expect to win,” the spokesperson, Noah Edwardsen, said. “Meanwhile, Prop 22 remains in effect, including all of the protections and benefits it provides independent workers across the state.”
Uber and other gig economy companies are pursuing similar legislation in Massachusetts. This month, a coalition of companies filed a ballot proposal that could allow voters in the state to decide next year whether gig workers should be considered independent contractors.