The coming week is pivotal for Uber and Lyft. That’s when they are likely to hear the results of their request to postpone a judge’s ruling that they immediately reclassify their drivers in California as employees, rather than independent contractors, until an appeals court can hear the case.
If the appeals court says the ruling must take effect immediately, both have said they will suspend service in California, one of their most important markets, starting on Aug. 21. If the appeals court gives the companies more time to argue their case, the question will be how long. The companies have their sights set on a November ballot initiative designed to effectively overturn AB5, the state law that took effect at the start of this year, requiring gig worker contractors to be treated as employees—deserving of paid vacation and health insurance, among other benefits.