Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. will be able to continue conducting business as usual in California for now, after a state appeals court on Thursday paused a lower-court ruling that required the ride-hailing companies to reclassify their drivers as employees.
The reprieve means both companies can continue operating while they fight a high-stakes legal battle with their home state.
The court’s decision followed a flurry of public messaging by the companies earlier Thursday, capping a week of threats that they would shutter their services in California if the courts compelled them to reclassify their workers. Lyft posted an announcement on its website Thursday morning saying it would halt its business there as of midnight. Uber put up what appeared to be a placeholder post on its site, with the heading, “Important Information About California Ridesharing Shutdown,’’ which it later removed.
Lyft confirmed it no longer plans to halt ride-hailing service in the state.
A state judge last week gave Uber and Lyft until Friday to reclassify their drivers as employees, after California sued the companies in May alleging they were violating a new state law.