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US: US Chamber of Commerce urges 9th Circ to uphold ban on Uber Union law

 |  February 6, 2018

According to Law360, the US Chamber of Commerce urged a Ninth Circuit panel on Monday, February 5, to find Seattle’s ordinance allowing Uber and Lyft drivers to unionize doesn’t qualify for an exemption to federal antitrust laws.

In 2016, Seattle became the first city in the United States to allow for-hire drivers to collectively bargain with employers. The law allows both cab drivers and drivers for ride-hail services like Lyft and Uber to negotiate pay and working conditions through a representative.

In March 2017, the Chamber of Commerce and several individual drivers sued the city in two separate suits, claiming the ordinance violates and is preempted by the Sherman Antitrust Act and the National Labor Relations Act.

US District Judge Robert Lasnik dismissed the claims in August, finding the ordinance does not violate federal laws and state law does not pre-empt cities from allowing independent contractors to organize.

The Chamber and drivers appealed to the Ninth Circuit and Lasnik ordered an injunction preventing Seattle from enforcing the law pending appeal.

On Monday, both groups tried to persuade a three-judge appellate panel to strike down the ordinance.

The outcome could have sweeping consequences for local governments and companies grappling with the growing sector. The federal government, several states and a host of advocates on both sides offered their perspective for how to harmonize modern technology and labor laws. The ordinance is considered a test for how far traditional protections should extend to the so-called gig economy, according to BenefitsPro.

Full Content: Benefits Pro & Law 360

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