California Supreme Court Grants Review in Case Challenging Constitutionality of Proposition 22

On June 28, 2023, the California Supreme Court granted the petition for review in Castellanos v. State of California. Castellanos involves a constitutional challenge to Proposition 22, the 2020 ballot initiative sponsored by Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and other app-based companies that classifies app-based drivers as independent contractors, thereby removing them from the state workers’ compensation system and otherwise stripping employment protections from the drivers.

The petition urged the Court to review the First District Court of Appeal’s 2-1 decision that Proposition 22 does not violate article XIV, section 4 of the California Constitution even though the initiative restrains the Legislature’s authority under that section to create and enforce a complete workers’ compensation system. The Court of Appeal unanimously agreed that Proposition 22’s provision defining what constitutes an amendment of the initiative violates fundamental separation of power principles and struck down that provision as unconstitutional.

Altshuler Berzon LLP represents the Petitioners in Castellanos, along with Olson Remcho, LLP and attorneys from the Service Employees International Union.

The California Supreme Court will likely hear the case in 2024. The petition for review is available here.