Uber and Postmates lost their bid for a temporary injunction against AB 5.
U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee for the Central District of California said she could not "second-guess" the California Legislature that enacted the law.
"Though company plaintiffs have shown some measure of likelihood of irreparable harm, the balance of equities and the public interest weigh in favor of permitting the state to enforce this legislation," she wrote in her ruling.
- Uber and Postmates, along with one driver for each company, had filed a motion for a preliminary injunction against AB 5 on Jan. 8, calling the gig-economy-shaping law "irrational and unconstitutional." The law establishes a simpler test for when a worker must be considered an employee instead of a contractor, and threatens to upend the business models of Uber, Postmates, Lyft and others.
- The two companies wanted a shield against the law while they try to fight it in court and at the ballot box, via a measure they hope to put before California voters in November.
- Uber is reviewing the ruling and considering an appeal, it said Monday. Postmates said it is doing the same. "The decision comes as a disappointment to the on-demand workers [Lydia Olson and Miguel Perez] who filed suit to protect their flexibility and income," a Postmates spokesperson said, pointing out that the decision only covers the plaintiffs' request for a temporary injunction, and adding that the company will continue to "present [its] full case on the merits."
- California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez said in a statement that the judge "chose to let the law stand and, as such, it is now the responsibility of California to enforce the law on behalf of these workers."