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Lyft Adds Keker & Van Nest to Defense in Driver Classification Suit

The Recorder

With a federal judge declaring earlier this month that a jury should decide whether Lyft has been misclassifying drivers as contractors under California state law, the company has beefed up its defense team.

Lawyers at Keker & Van Nest, including partners Rachael Meny and R. James Slaughter, entered appearances on behalf of Lyft two days after U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria of the Northern District of California let a proposed class action against the ride-hailing service survive a motion to dismiss.

The Keker lawyers are supplementing Lyft's prior counsel from labor and employment firm Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart.

The employment class action against Lyft, originally filed in 2013, claims the company should provide drivers, currently classified as independent contractors, with certain benefits and protections due to employees under the California Labor Code. The same day Chhabria issued his decision denying Lyft's motion to dismiss, his Northern District colleague Edward Chen gave the green light to a similar suit brought on behalf of drivers for Lyft's rival Uber.

Uber is represented in its suit by counsel at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.