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Lyft Drivers Seek Full Court Review in California Sick Pay Suit

March 3, 2022, 2:06 AM

A group of Lyft Inc. drivers in California who allege they were misclassified as independent contractors asked the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday to reconsider its ruling that they must arbitrate sick leave and wage claims.

The drivers sued Lyft in March 2020, saying it violated the California Labor Code by misclassifying them as contractors and consequently failing to provide them with certain wages and benefits, including paid sick leave.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California court denied the drivers’ request for an injunction requiring Lyft to provide them with sick pay during the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Feb. 22, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the trial court’s ruling sending the case to arbitration.

The question is whether Lyft drivers fall within the Federal Arbitration Act’s exemption for transportation workers engaged in interstate commerce, the appellate court said.

But that issue was already decided in its 2021 Capriole v. Uber Techs., Inc. decision, which found that rideshare drivers don’t qualify for the exemption, a three-judge panel said.

The drivers now seek an en banc review.

Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP and Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP represent Lyft. Lichten & Liss-Riordan PC represents the drivers.

The case is Rogers v. Lyft Inc., 9th Cir., No. 20-15689, 3/2/22.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maeve Allsup in San Francisco at mallsup@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Meghashyam Mali at mmali@bloombergindustry.com