Instacart’s shoppers probably qualify as employees, judge rules

Instacart’s shoppers probably qualify as employees, judge rules

A San Diego judge issued a preliminary injunction last week saying that Instacart is likely misclassifying its California-based shoppers by calling them independent contractors. It’s an important milestone following the signing of Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), a California law that makes it more difficult for companies to define workers as contractors as a way to avoid providing health insurance and other workplace benefits.

Instacart says it will appeal the injunction. “We’re in compliance with the law and will continue to defend ourselves in this litigation,” the company said. San Diego City Attorney Mara W. Elliott first filed a lawsuit on behalf of the People of the State of California in September, arguing that Instacart’s workers did not meet the criteria, known as the “ABC Test,” for an independent contractor now set into law by AB5.

As defined by the state of California, a worker is an employee unless the employer can prove that:

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