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STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Los Angeles shuts off utilities at “party house” … New Jersey women in prison can pursue lawsuit over abuse … Alaska tribe sues over fishing rights.
Uber and Lyft won’t be suspending ride-booking services in California this week, as the companies had threatened to do. The tech giants have been battling with state and local officials in court over whether a state labor law requires them to reclassify their drivers as employees, as opposed to independent contractors. The switch would mean higher labor costs for the companies—both of which have been losing hundreds of millions of dollars every quarter, even before the coronavirus pandemic, despite their popularity with consumers. On Aug. 10, a state judge issued an injunction blocking them from treating their drivers as contractors, but gave them 10 days to appeal. On Thursday, a state appeals court put the injunction temporarily on hold pending further court proceedings. As the legal wrangling plays out, the companies are pouring millions of dollars into a state ballot measure, Proposition 22, that will go before California voters this November. It would enable ride-booking and app-based delivery companies to keep treating their drivers as contractors. Uber and Lyft will now have five days to agree to expedited procedures for their appeals. They’ll also have to provide sworn statements from executives that the companies have developed plans to comply with the Aug. 10 order if necessary. “The court of appeal is holding the companies’ feet to the fire,” said William Gould, professor emeritus at Stanford Law School and a former National Labor Relations Board chairman. [Los Angeles Times, MarketWatch, San Francisco Chronicle]
PARTY HOUSE | Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti directed the city to shut off utilities at a Hollywood Hills “party house” that has hosted several large gatherings in violation of the city’s public health orders."Despite several warnings, this house has turned into a nightclub in the hills, hosting large gatherings in flagrant violation of our public health orders," Garcetti said. "If we wish to reopen more businesses, return our kids to school, or get back to our normal lives, we must continue to wear masks, wash our hands frequently, and as we're emphasizing today, avoid gathering with others. All of these actions save lives.” [CNN]
WOMEN’S PRISON | A state judge in New Jersey has ruled that women incarcerated at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women can pursue a class-action lawsuit against the state prison, after a federal report revealed that the facility was plagued by rampant sexual abuse committed by guards. The report “sheds new light on, and requires a fresh look at, the hostile living environment,” the judge wrote. [NBC New York]
FISHING RIGHTS | An Alaska Native tribe, the Metlakatla Indian Community, is suing Gov. Mike Dunleavy over fishing rights. The tribe argues that traditional fishing grounds were guaranteed to them in a treaty with Congress, but the state is still requiring members to obtain commercial fishing permits to fish in certain areas. [Alaska Public Media]
CONFEDERATE MONUMENT | Police in Portsmouth, Virginia served an arrest warrant for state Sen. L. Louise Lucas, who they allege was part of a conspiracy to topple the city’s Confederate monument during a protest on June 10. “It’s just an unnecessary nuisance but you know what? I will be vindicated,” Lucas said after she was released on her own recognizance. [Washington Post]
Emma Coleman is the assistant editor for Route Fifty. Bill Lucia is a senior reporter for Route Fifty.