As discussed in a July 8, 2020 blog post, Proposition 22, was a ballot initiative that changed the classification for app-based transportation and delivery drivers. On November 3, 2020 voters approved the passage of Prop 22. Since passing, companies such as Vons, Pavilions and Albertsons have moved to stop employing delivery drivers and instead work with gig delivery drivers like DoorDash. Albertsons has stated that the transition was not impacted by Prop 22. Ibid.
In response to the passage of Prop 22, the Service Employees International Union (“SEIU”) along with several individual Petitioners—Hector Castellanos, Joseph Delgado, Saori Okawa, Michael Robinson—have filed an Emergency Petition for Writ of Mandate and Request for Expedited Review in the Supreme Court of the State of California. Castellanos et. al. v. State of California, (January 12, 2021) S266551. In explaining the justification for the writ, Petitioners notes that there is a strong case for immediate relief due to the “purely legal” issues presented and the “broad public importance that require[s] speed and [a] final resolution.” Namely, Prop 22 has affected hundreds of thousands of app-based drivers’ compensation and employment protections.
The Petitioners argue that the language of Proposition 22 unconstitutionally usurps the “authority of the Legislature under articles IV and XIV of the state Constitution” and “invades the authority of the judiciary.” Id at 10-11. The California Constitution provides the Legislature with “unlimited” authority to create an enforce legislation related to workers’ compensation. Id. at 22-23. Petitioners argue that Prop 22’s language prohibiting legislation regarding workers’ compensation for app-based drivers flies directly in the face of the Legislatures’ express authority under the California Constitution. Id. at 23-24. Additionally, Petitioners argue that Prop 22’s definition of what constitutes an “amendment” improperly prevents the judiciary from executing its role in construing the state Constitution and ruling as to what qualifies as an amendment. Id. at 25.
The California Supreme Court has not determined yet whether it will hear the writ.