Last week the Mayor’s Office officially transmitted to the City Council its “Fare Share” legislation, imposing a tax on Uber and Lyft rides and enforcing a minimum wage for drivers. A close read of the bills reveals some interesting details and nuances.
Tomorrow morning, Mayor Durkan will unveil another of her 2020 budget initiatives: increasing the tax on Uber and Lyft rides in the city. In combination with that, she will announce a proposal to institute a minimum wage for Uber and Lyft drivers.
Last month I wrote about the status of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s legal challenge to the City of Seattle’s ordinance authorizing Uber and Lyft drivers to engage in collective bargaining. Briefly:
- Last year the city tried to get the case thrown out, arguing that it had “state-action immunity.” The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, and sent the case back down for further proceedings .
- In December, the City Council amended its ordinance so that it no longer authorizes collective bargaining over compensation, which was very likely to be found to be illegal price-fixing among competitors..
- In response, the Chamber of Commerce said that despite the change, it still believes the ordinance violates the Sherman Antitrust Act.
- The Chamber of Commerce indicated last month that it will move for summary judgment, skipping a trial. This is only allowed if there are no relevant facts in dispute.
- The city responded that it believes there are still relevant facts to be discovered, and will oppose the Chamber’s motion on those grounds.
- The court set a schedule for both sides to file legal briefs, starting with the Chamber of Commerce.
Last Friday, the Chamber started the ball rolling by filing its brief. Here’s what it says.
Since the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a split-decision last fall, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s legal challenge to Seattle’s ordinance granting collective-bargaining rights to Uber and Lyft drivers has been back in the hands of the district court. But it’s proceeding in starts and stops, with the occasional flurry of motions and other legal filings. Today a joint status report filed by the parties extends that pattern.
As expected, this morning the Council voted out of committee a bill that would make a major change to the 2015 ordinance authorizing Uber and Lyft drivers to organize for the purposes of collective bargaining.
On Tuesday, the Council’s Governance, Equity and Technology Committee will take up an ordinance making a big change to its 2015 ordinance granting Uber and Lyft drivers the right to unionize — and in the process cutting the heart out of the ordinance.
In May, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals dealt the City of Seattle a setback in its defense of its ordinance granting Uber and Lyft drivers the right to collective bargaining. In June, the city petitioned the appeals court for an en banc rehearing of the case in front of the entire court.
Last Friday the court denied that petition.
This year the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has heard two challenges to the City of Seattle’s ordinance authorizing collective bargaining for Uber and Lyft drivers. One was filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the other by a group of Uber and Lyft drivers. After back-to-back oral arguments in February, the appeals court ruled on the Chamber of Commerce case in May; it found that the ordinance was not exempt from the Sherman Antitrust Act. Today it handed down its ruling in the second case, affirming the district court’s dismissal of the case — a win for the city.
Today the City of Seattle filed a petition with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, asking it to rehear en banc the appeal of the ongoing lawsuit filed by Uber and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over the city’s ordinance allowing Uber and Lyft drivers to unionize.
While everyone was watching the Council try to decide whether to impost a head tax, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals made its own news today by ruling against the city in a case regarding its ordinance granting Uber and Lyft drivers the right to collective bargaining. But buried in the ruling is a legal precedent with potentially far greater impact.