LYDIA OLSON, ET AL V. STATE OF CALIFORNIA, ET AL, No. 21-55757 (9th Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
Individuals Plaintiffs, Uber, Inc. (Uber) and Postmates, Inc. (Postmates, and collectively Plaintiffs) appealed the district court’s orders denying their motion for a preliminary injunction and dismissing their Second Amended Complaint. Plaintiffs filed this action to enjoin the State of California and the Attorney General of California (Defendants), from enforcing California Assembly Bill 5, 2019 Cal. Stats. Ch. 296 (A.B. 5), as amended by California Assembly Bill 170, 2019 Cal. Stats. Ch. 415 (A.B. 170) and California Assembly Bill 2257, 2020 Cal. Stats. Ch. 38 (A.B. 2257, and collectively A.B. 5, as amended), against them. A.B. 5, as amended, codified the “ABC test” adopted by the Supreme Court of California in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles, 4 Cal. 5th 903 (2018).1 A.B. 5, as amended, however, incorporated numerous exemptions into its provisions.
The Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part district court orders dismissing Plaintiffs’ Second Amended Complaint and denying Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction and remanded. The panel first held that, even under the fairly forgiving rational basis review, Plaintiffs plausibly alleged that A.B. 5, as amended, violated the Equal Protection Clause for those engaged in app-based ride-hailing and delivery services. Thus, Plaintiffs plausibly alleged that the primary impetus for the enactment of A.B. 5 was the disfavor with which the architect of the legislation viewed Uber, Postmates, and similar gig-based business models. The panel held that the district court correctly dismissed Plaintiffs’ due process claims because Plaintiffs failed to plausibly allege that A.B. 5, as amended, completely prohibited them from exercising their “right to engage in a calling.”