SEIU 1021

Prop 22 Is Bad for Workers: That’s Why We Are Suing to Strike It Down

App workers protest outside Uber's headquarters.

Today, January 12, 2021 app workers and members of We Drive Progress and Mobile Workers Alliance, along with consumers and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), filed a lawsuit challenging Proposition 22 for violating our state constitution. Prop 22 should be struck down.

“Every day, rideshare drivers like me struggle to make ends meet because companies like Uber and Lyft prioritize corporate profits over our wellbeing,” said plaintiff Saori Okawa, who does food and grocery delivery in addition to rideshare driving. With Prop 22, they’re not just ignoring our health and safety — they’re discarding our state’s constitution. I’m joining this lawsuit because I know it’s up to the people we elect to make our laws, not wealthy executives who profit from our labor. I’m confident the court will see Prop 22 for the corporate power grab that it is.”

Prop 22, which took effect last month, stripped California gig workers of basic rights including overtime pay, paid family leave, sick days, unemployment insurance, and a voice at work through a union. Instead, Prop 22 places the power to protect drivers in the hands of rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft—the same companies who wrote the unconstitutional law, spent over $200 million to pass it last November, and who have regularly placed their profits above our safety.

“We look forward to the court affirming that gig companies cannot strip workers of their fundamental right to bargain for better pay and working conditions — and that corporations alone should not dictate the laws in our state,” said Bob Schoonover, President of SEIU Local 721 and SEIU California State Council“Like Prop 187 and Prop 8, Prop 22 is an unconstitutional attack on Californians’ rights that if left unchecked will grant permission to companies like Uber and Lyft to dismantle workers’ rights across the country. SEIU is proud to support drivers’ fight to stop this unconstitutional law.”

The lawsuit, filed in California Supreme Court, argues that Prop 22 unconstitutionally limits the power of elected officials to govern, including by stripping the legislature’s ability to grant workers the right to organize for improvements to our pay and working conditions. It also illegally excludes workers from the state workers’ compensation program. The suit also asserts Prop 22 violates a provision in the State Constitution requiring ballot initiatives address only a single subject.