A California appellate court judge granted Uber and Lyft’s motions to stay the preliminary injunction a trial court judge issued on August 10 “pending resolution of Lyft and Uber’s appeals” on Thursday, just hours before both rideshare companies were set to suspend operations in the state.
Uber and Lyft must agree to the expedited procedures outlined in the order by August 25 as a condition of that stay. Under the expedited procedures, parties must file their opening briefs by September 4 and their response briefs by September 18, and the hearing will take place October 13. Also, Uber and Lyft must, on or before September 4:
“[S]ubmit a sworn statement from its chief executive officer confirming that it has developed implementation plans under which, if this court affirms the preliminary injunction and Proposition 22 on the November 2020 ballot fails to pass, the company will be prepared to comply with the preliminary injunction within no more than 30 days after issuance of the remittitur in the appeal.”
With the stay in place, Uber and Lyft are free to continue current operations in California.
The companies’ pending departure has been a major part of the state’s news cycle over the past week. Drivers and riders alike took to social media to demand some kind of a solution or stay, and AB5 proponents and union spokespeople rushed to blame “greedy billionaires” for the standoff while refusing to work toward a solution.
On Wednesday, San Diego’s Republican mayor, Kevin Faulconer, and San Jose’s Democrat mayor, Sam Liccardo issued a statement urging the appellate court to grant Uber and Lyft’s motions to stay the preliminary injunction. In the statement, they listed the ways in which Californians depend on the companies’ services, particularly in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and the severe financial harm that would be felt by the 200,000+ drivers and their families should the companies leave the state.
We are urging action to avoid Uber and Lyft leaving California on Friday.
As the Republican and Democratic mayors of two of California's largest cities, we're calling for solutions so our state doesn’t shut down an industry that's vital to the income and livelihood of millions. pic.twitter.com/J1mctxPyO0
— Kevin Faulconer (@Kevin_Faulconer) August 19, 2020
Interestingly, the proposed solutions Faulconer and Liccardo list in their statement are similar to those contained in Proposition 22, the ballot initiative sponsored by Uber, Lyft, and Doordash that Californians will vote on in November.
On Tuesday, numerous groups requested leave to file amicus curiae letters in support of Uber and Lyft, including:
The Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, the CA-NAACP State Conference, the Los Angeles Urban League, the National Action Network Sacramento Chapter Inc., the National Asian American Coalition, and the National Diversity Coalition.
Those are not exactly right-wing organizations.
It will be interesting to see how the October 13 hearing date affects Proposition 22. Voters will have their ballots by around October 8 (counties will begin mailing them October 5), so a number of people will have already voted by the time the hearing takes place. Regardless, look for this issue to be one of utmost importance in California’s general election and even the presidential election since Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are both on record giving full-throated approval of AB5.