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San Francisco to Uber, Lyft: If your drivers aren’t employees, prove it

Enlarge / The Uber ride-sharing app is seen on a mobile phone on February 12, 2018.

San Francisco’s city attorney has issued formal subpoenas to Uber and Lyft in order to ascertain whether the ride-sharing companies classify their drivers as employees or contractors in the wake of a landmark decision handed down by the California Supreme Court earlier this month.

Under the opinion in that case, known as Dynamex, the court found that workers can only be considered contractors under a three-part test that seeks to determine exactly how independent they are.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera will now seek “proof that Uber and Lyft have lawfully classified drivers as independent contractors or provide their drivers with minimum wage, sick leave, health care contributions, and paid parental leave.”

“We are not going to turn a blind eye if companies in San Francisco deny workers their pay and benefits,” he said in a statement issued Tuesday. “We are not going to tolerate any company shirking its responsibility to pay for benefits and shifting that burden onto taxpayers when drivers without health insurance turn to the emergency room. If your company is valued at $62 billion, you can afford to give your workers health care.”

Davis White, an Uber spokesman, declined to respond to Ars’ questions as to whether the company would be complying or challenging these subpoenas.

Similarly, Lyft did not respond to Ars’ inquiry.

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