Bloomberg Law
Free Newsletter Sign Up
Bloomberg Law
Welcome
Go
Free Newsletter Sign Up

Lyft Drivers to Arbitrate Sick Pay Suit as 9th Cir. Denies Redo

April 15, 2022, 2:49 PM

Lyft Inc. drivers in California must arbitrate claims that their misclassification as independent contractors cheated them out of wages and sick leave, after the Ninth Circuit said it won’t reconsider its prior ruling.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected the drivers’ petition for full court rehearing of the ruling in an order entered Thursday.

The drivers sued Lyft in March 2020, saying it violated the California Labor Code by misclassifying them as contractors rather than employees and consequently depriving them of certain wages and benefits, including paid sick leave.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California subsequently denied the drivers’ request for an injunction requiring Lyft to provide them with sick pay during the Covid-19 pandemic, and granted Lyft’s motion to compel arbitration of the claims.

The drivers appealed to the Ninth Circuit, arguing that they should be able to litigate their claims in court because they fell within the Federal Arbitration Act’s exemption for transportation workers engaged in interstate commerce.

But a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit said that it had already found that rideshare drivers don’t qualify for this exemption. The finding came in 2021 in Capriole v. Uber Techs. Inc.

Judges Sidney R. Thomas, Consuelo M. Callahan, and Eugene E. Siler Jr., sitting by designation from the Sixth Circuit, were on the panel.

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, 4/14/22.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kathleen Dailey at kdailey@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Steven Patrick at spatrick@bloomberglaw.com