(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Uber could halt service in California for months, chief says

Uber could shut down in California for several months if a court does not overturn a recent ruling requiring the ride-hailing company to treat its drivers as employees, chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said on Wednesday.

A San Francisco Superior Court judge issued the ruling on Monday, finding that Uber and Lyft had misclassified drivers as independent contractors. Both companies said they would appeal during the 10-day period before it goes into effect.

“We think we comply by the laws, but if the judge and the court finds that we’re not and they don’t give us a stay to get to November, then we’ll have to essentially shut down Uber until November,” Khosrowshahi told MSNBC.

He said that would be “really unfortunate at a historical time of unemployment in California,” the most populous US state and one of Uber’s key markets. “It would put vast swaths of our drivers out of work.”

In November, California voters are to decide if drivers for transportation apps should be exempt from being considered employees.

If they reject that, Uber would have to move to a “full-time model,” which would result in a “much smaller service, much higher prices” and a focus on city centres, its chief said.

The employment status of drivers of gig-economy apps has long been debated, with Uber arguing that most drivers prefer flexibility over being considered full-time employees. But critics note that contractors lack rights such as health and unemployment benefits.

dpa, Berlin

Bay Area NewsCaliforniasan francisco newstransportation

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Nicole Canedo looks at her City-issued Medical Reimbursement Account page on her computer outside her Berkeley apartment on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. Canedo has worked numerous retail jobs in The City and the MRA has helped her with health costs. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Millions left sitting in medical reimbursement accounts by city workers

Health officials looking at how to improve access, outreach as untapped funds reach $409M

Andrew Faulk wrote "My Epidemic." (Courtesy photo)
Doctor’s memoir a fitting remembrance for World AIDS Day

‘My Epidemic’ tells personal stories of men who died

49ers receiver Deebo Samuel picks up yards in front of the Rams defense after a reception in the 4th quarter at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood Sunday. (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times)
Rams can’t stop 49ers’ Deebo Samuel from catching defense off guard

Emmanuel Morgan Los Angeles Times Perhaps the Rams didn’t watch enough film.… Continue reading

Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF moves into purple tier, triggering curfew and business shutdowns

San Francisco moved into the state’s purple COVID-19 tier Saturday, requiring The… Continue reading

Dan Johanson on summit: Dan Johanson celebrates his first visit to Mount Shasta’s summit. Photo by Matt Johanson
Mount Shasta inspires and teaches generations of climbers

Challenging climb maintains a magnetic pull on mountaineers

Most Read