To some, it may feel like it was a lifetime ago when ride share companies did not even exist. In those seemingly long-ago days, people relied upon friends to drive them to or from the airport, or assigned designated drivers for those nights when they attended events where alcohol would be served, or used other methods of transportation to travel the roadways to their various destinations.
Californians may soon be living like that again.
As we shared the other day, a California Superior Court has issued a temporary restraining order requiring ride share companies to treat their drivers as employees.
Shortly thereafter, a spokesperson for at least one of the ride share companies let it be known that not only would they be appealing that decision but, unless that order is stayed while it is being appealed, the ride share companies may simply stop providing services in California during the appeal.
The Superior Court’s order is only stayed for 10 days. And already, the Superior Court has denied a request to continue the stay during the appeal.
The next step for the ride share companies will be to ask the Court of Appeal to stay the decision during the pendency of the appeal.
While the arguments to stay the order during the appeal appear to be very strong – the ride share companies arguably will lose the benefit of the appeal if they must comply with the order only to prevail on appeal – the Court of Appeal has broad discretion in these matters.
And should the Court of Appeal follow the Superior Court and also refuse to stay the order requiring the ride share companies to treat drivers as employees, Californians should not be surprised if the ride share companies take a safe route and simply stop doing business in California during the appeal.
What would that mean for Californians?
It would mean that the ride share apps on their phones may stop functioning very, very soon. And Californians can go back to finding friends to take them to the airport, getting designated drivers for events that will include alcohol, and taking other means of transportation. It will be old times all over again.