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Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

A group of ride-hailing drivers and the Service Employees International Union have filed a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of Proposition 22, the ballot measure recently passed in California that enshrines drivers as independent contractors (with some benefits).

Why it matters: Prop. 22 was a response from gig companies to AB5, a state law that went into effect last January, and put in place stricter requirements for classifying workers as contractors. Having drivers as contractors instead of employees (with full benefits) is central to these companies' business models, prompting their aggressive action to eschew AB5.

  • The plaintiffs argue that Prop. 22 violates the state constitution by stripping the legislature from enabling workers to organize, and excluding ride-hail drivers from the state workers’ compensation program.

Go deeper: Deep dive on the gig economy

Go deeper

Unemployment filings explode again as pandemic slams job market

Volunteers distribute meals at a food bank in Pennsylvania last month. (Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

More than 1.4 million Americans filed for jobless claims last week — a figure that includes first-time filings for regular state unemployment and another program for non-traditional workers.

Why it matters: It’s another surge in the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits, an additional sign the labor market is facing more strain as the coronavirus continues to ravage the country.

59 mins ago - Health

U.S. ahead of pace on vaccines

A health care worker administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine in Ruleville, Mississippi. Photo: Rory Doyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. is now vaccinating an average of 2 million people a day, up from 1.3 million in early February.

Why it matters: That puts us on track to hit President Biden's goal of 100 million doses a month ahead of schedule.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Harris breaks tie as Senate proceeds with lengthy debate on COVID relief bill

Photo: Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate on Thursday voted 51-50 — with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie — to proceed to debate on President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package, likely setting up a final vote this weekend.

The state of play: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is forcing the Senate clerk to read the entire 628-page bill on the floor, a procedural move that will likely add 10 hours to the 20 hours already allotted for debate.