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Lyft drivers filed a a class action lawsuit in 2020, seeking an emergency ruling that requires the company to reclassify its drivers from “independent contractor” to “employee” status.

They are represented by a lawyer who has been filing similar suits against Lyft and other “gig economy” companies for years.

In the trial court, a motion to compel arbitration, the court stated in ruling on a motion to compel arbitration “While the status of Lyft drivers was previously uncertain, it is now clear that drivers for companies like Lyft must be classified as employees.” … “What makes this an emergency, in their view, is that if Lyft is finally forced to reclassify its drivers, those drivers will potentially qualify for sick pay under California law.”

And in ruling on the “emergency” the court stated “even if drivers were reclassified, the amount of sick pay involved would be small” and that “the plaintiffs insist that if they don’t get their zero to three days of paid sick leave immediately, they are willing to put their passengers at risk. One of the plaintiffs, for example, insists that (unless he is reclassified) he will continue to give rides even if he develops coronavirus symptoms and would expose his passengers to the disease.” The Court obviously did not take this risk seriously.

Thus the court moved on stating “In short, there are no heroes in the story of this case. But there are several complicated legal questions, to which this ruling now turns. The first question is whether the plaintiffs’ individual claims must be compelled to arbitration. ” And the court concluded that issue by ruling “Lyft’s motion to compel arbitration is granted as to the plaintiffs’ claims for individualized relief.”

The Lyft drivers appealed the Order to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. At issue in this appeal is whether Lyft drivers are engaged in interstate commerce and therefore exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). The Court of Appeals ruled that the drivers were properly ordered to arbitration in the unpublished case of Rogers v Lyft (Feb, 2022) No. 20-15689 D.C. No. 3:20-cv-01938-VC.

At issue in this appeal is whether Lyft drivers are engaged in interstate commerce and therefore exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). Section1 of the FAA exempts from the Act’s coverage all ‘contracts of employment of seamen, railroad employees, or any other class of workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce.

The 9th Circuit recently decided this question in Capriole v. Uber Techs., Inc., 7 F.4th 854 (9th Cir. 2021), holding that rideshare drivers “do not fall within the ‘interstate commerce’ exemption from the FAA.” Id. at 861.

In Capriole, the 9th Circuit concluded that Uber drivers, as a nationwide “class of workers,” are not “engaged in foreign or interstate commerce” and are therefore not exempt from arbitration under the FAA. It based much of the reasoning on United States v. Yellow Cab Co., 332 U.S. 218, 228-29, (1947), an antitrust case in which the Supreme Court held that the transportation of interstate rail passengers and their luggage between rail stations in Chicago to facilitate their travel is part of “the stream of interstate commerce.”

Because Capriole controls the outcome in this case, we affirm the judgment of this district court.