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State Supreme Court Rejects Lawsuit Against Prop 22

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — The California Supreme Court declined on Wednesday to move forward with a lawsuit brought by unions and delivery drivers against Proposition 22, which defined workers for ride-sharing and delivery apps as independent contractors.

In their decision, the justices stated that the case should be filed in a lower court. The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit with the state supreme court because they saw it as a constitutional issue.

"We are disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision not to hear our case, but make no mistake: we are not deterred in our fight to win a livable wage and basic rights," plaintiff Hector Castellanos in a statement. "We will consider every option available to protect California workers from attempts by companies like Uber and Lyft to subvert our democracy and attack our rights in order to improve their bottom lines."

No on Proposition 22 Demonstration
Demonstrators in San Francisco hold signs urging a no vote on Proposition 22. (CBS)

He later added, "Prop 22 is an unconstitutional attack on the ability of the California legislature to pass any laws to protect gig workers like me, even in the middle of a deadly pandemic."

Proposition 22 passed in November with 58% support and shielded companies like Uber and Lyft from a new state labor law that would have required app-based services to treat drivers as employees and not independent contractors.

It was the most expensive ballot measure in state history with Uber, Lyft and other services putting $200 million behind the effort to undo a law that had been aimed squarely at them by labor-friendly Democrats. Unions, who joined drivers in the lawsuit, spent about $20 million to challenge the proposition.

When the lawsuit seeking speedy review was filed directly with the Supreme Court last month, Mary-Beth Moylan, associate dean of McGeorge Law School in Sacramento, said the first challenge would be getting the court to take the case.

Moylan said the high court could simply kick the case to a lower court if it felt there was no urgency to it and there were factual — not just legal — issues to weigh first.

© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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