Chamber of Commerce Sues Seattle Over Uber, Lyft Ordinance
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sued the town of Seattle on Thursday over an ordinance that permits drivers of experience-hailing apps Uber and Lyft to unionize, saying it violates federal antitrust legal guidelines.
Seattle final yr turned the primary U.S. metropolis to cross a regulation giving drivers for corporations corresponding to Uber and Lyft, in addition to taxi and for-rent drivers, the proper to collectively negotiate on pay and dealing circumstances.
Metropolis officers took motion amid rising considerations about how drivers are compensated. Each Uber and Lyft vigorously opposed the measure, arguing that present federal labor regulation trumps native laws.
The chamber, a federation of greater than three million companies, is the most recent entry into the rising authorized battle being waged by quite a few factions in courts throughout america over whether or not the drivers are unbiased contractors or staff, and what kind of advantages and rights they need to have.
"Seattle and hundreds of different municipalities can be free to undertake their very own disparate regulatory regimes, which might … inhibit the free circulate of commerce amongst personal service suppliers across the Nation," in line with the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Courtroom in Seattle.
The chamber is in search of to have the regulation suspended.
Uber stated in a press release that the lawsuit "raises critical questions not solely about whether or not the town has run afoul of federal legal guidelines, but in addition concerning the influence on drivers who depend on journey-sharing to earn versatile revenue."
Lyft, in a separate assertion, stated the ordinance "might undermine the pliability that makes Lyft so engaging each to drivers and passengers."
The ordinance was permitted unanimously by the town council however opposed by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.
Representatives for Seattle’s metropolis council couldn’t instantly be reached for touch upon Thursday; officers stated in December they have been ready for a lawsuit.
"We now have hundreds of thousands of dollars put aside," Councilman Mike O’Brien, who proposed the measure, advised Reuters.
Richard Reibstein, a labor lawyer who runs the unbiased contractor follow at Pepper Hamilton, stated the regulation is a menace to all the companies the chamber represents.
"If a municipality might cross an ordinance of this nature addressed to the journey-sharing business, it might move an ordinance of this nature towards any business and all industries," he stated.
The chamber additionally argues that Seattle can’t make a willpower concerning the employment standing of drivers earlier than the Nationwide Labor Relations Board comes to a decision on the difficulty. The NLRB is reviewing a minimum of 4 instances and is predicted to make a blanket choice regarding their standing.