Fresno attorneys and rideshare worker weigh in on Lyft/Uber lawsuit

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FRESNO, California (KGPE) – Uber and Lyft added a new technologically savvy way to travel on the roads throughout the nation, but is now facing tough decisions here in California in a lawsuit requiring the companies change their independent contractors to be classified as employees.

Fresno attorneys explain why Assembly Bill 5 is so tough for employers to implement.

“It’s a lot more work for an employer than to just have the independent contractor,” said Diane Coderniz, the employment department chair attorney at Baker Manock & Jensen.

“The estimates are for every independent contractor who is deemed or designated to be an employee, that will cost an employer an additional $3600 dollars a year,” said Doug Larsen, an attorney at Fishman, Larsen & Callister.

Central Valley Lyft and Uber driver, Esteban Lizzaraga says the reason he wants to stay independent is simple.

“At the end of this, it comes down to the state wanting more money.”

Many drivers are against Assembly Bill 5 and say it would put them out of business.

“It has nothing to do with the benefit of the workers.  Now you’re just gonna completely crush an industry that’s been thriving in California from the consumer’s perspective and now you’re gonna completely crush the driver’s industry.”

Lyft and Uber were planning on shutting down Friday, but were able to get an extension through August 25th to continue operating.  The issue will become moot if voters approve Proposition 22.

“Which will essentially exempt the rideshare companies like Uber/Lyft from AB5 — the law that requires them to treat these individuals that work for them as employees instead of independent contractors,” said Attorney Coderniz.

Proposition 22 will be on the November ballot for voters to decide on.

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