Uber said it would keep treating its drivers as contractors despite a California bill passed Wednesday that would mandate companies to reclassify them as employees, The New York Times reports. In a news conference, Uber’s chief legal officer Tony West claimed drivers for the ride-hailing service were not an integral part of the business. Rather, West said Uber was a “technology platform for several different types of digital marketplaces.” He added that Uber was “no stranger to legal battles,” and expressed confidence that the company could meet the legislation's requirements to keep drivers classified as contractors.
West's comments came after the California Legislature passed landmark legislation that would require businesses to treat their workers as employees—rather than independent contractors—if the company has control over the workers’ duties and if the worker contributes to the company’s main business. It's slated to take effect on Jan. 1, and Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign it.