California AG, cities sue Uber and Lyft over worker classification

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California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is suing Uber and Lyft, alleging the ride sharing companies have misclassified their drivers as contractors. City attorneys from San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego have joined Becerra in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit gets to the heart of a recent debate between gig economy companies and California officials. Uber, Lyft and other companies opposed a California law created as a way to require gig economy companies to classify their drivers as employees, rather than contractors. The law, known as Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), went into effect earlier this year.

“Uber and Lyft claim that properly classifying drivers as employees is incompatible with flexibility. That is a lie,” San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said in a statement. “There is no legal reason why Uber and Lyft can’t have a vast pool of employees who decide for themselves when and where they work – exactly as drivers do now. These companies simply don’t want to do it.”

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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