This is a breaking story. Uber $UBER loses its appeal to topple California’s gig worker status law.

Four years ago, voters approved Proposition 22, a ballot measure sponsored by Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart that allowed the companies to continue to treat their ride-hailing drivers and delivery workers as independent contractors. Prop. 22 was the industry’s response to Assembly Bill 5, a state law that codified a state Supreme Court decision that would have required the companies to classify those workers as employees.

Treating gig workers as independent contractors is central to the business model of the California-based companies, the middlemen that gave rise to the on-demand, app-based gig economy that has permeated our culture. The companies are fighting to hang on to that model, saying it helps them provide gig workers with flexible schedules. Critics say it lets the companies avoid paying employment taxes and shift financial responsibility to their workers and customers, plus governments.

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