The passage of Proposition 22 in California effectively meant that gig economy workers who are injured on the job are not subject to the California Workers’ Compensation system any longer. For example, if you were a driver for Uber, Lyft, Doordash, etc., are injured on the job, and you think that you qualify for workers’ compensation in California, the app-based gig companies would like you not to think so. The intent of Proposition 22 and its passage supposedly meant that you are effectively an independent contractor and will not be eligible for any workers’ compensation benefits.
However, we (Fong brothers) disagree and believe that we may be able to successfully challenge Proposition 22 on the grounds that it violates the California Constitution under Article 14, Section 4. Section 4 states in pertinent part:
“The Legislature is hereby expressly vested with plenary power, unlimited by any provision of this Constitution, to create, and enforce a complete system of workers’ compensation, by appropriate legislation, and in that behalf to create and enforce a liability on the part of any or all persons to compensate any or all of their workers for injury or disability, and their dependents for death incurred or sustained by the said workers in the course of their employment, irrespective of the fault of any party.”
A plain reading of Section 4 means that only the California Legislature has the power to create a system (or to have no system) of workers’ compensation. We believe that the big app-based companies’ attempt to enforce Proposition 22 by creating an alternative system of benefits for work injuries violates Section 4. We Fong brothers would like to challenge the constitutionality of Proposition 22, but we need a test case. So, if you are a gig worker (e.g. from Lyft, Uber, Doordash, etc.) and you were injured on the job, contact us to see if you would like to participate in this challenge. We will give you a free consultation, and if you retain us, you don’t pay (15% only) until and unless we win.